Tag Archives: healthy-living

What I Ate!

20 Sep

Hello Everyone! Its time for WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY! I hope you all enjoyed the post on HIIT! I felt like it was something really important that needed to be shared. I love finding new ways to live a healthy lifestyle..and when I do…I will tell you all! My week has been really crazy. I am starting to think that school social work is not what I want to do with my life. It is really confusing and scary when you don’t know exactly what is going to happen and exactly where you are going to end up! I truly believe my calling in life is to help overweight kids, teens, and adults. I hope that God opens up doors for me and leads me in the right direction. It is all in his hands! So….lets get started with what I ate on Wednesday!

Breakfast: I slept in a little too late, so breakfast had to be quick! I had a new granola bar I found in the store and it was so good! It actually kept me full until lunch. Now, I typically don’t like to have processed food in the mornings, but I have to leave extremely early for my internship and its sometime necessary! The ingredient list wasn’t long at all, which helps! Paired it with a banana!

Lunch: I got creative with my lunch! I mixed a can of light chunk tuna packed in water with 1/2 cup of fat free refried beans with 1/4 cup fat free cheddar and salsa! Microwaved it for about 1 minute! It was so good! Packed with protein so it kept me so full!

Dinner: We had shrimp in our house, so I went online and found a shrimp scampi recipe! It was from Eat Better America! It was so good! Basically it was whole wheat pasta, olive oil, garlic, spinach, shrimp, and tomatoes! I absolutely loved it! Shrimp is packed with protein and is so good for you!

Snack: My snack was simple! 1 container of Yoplait Greek Yogurt with 1/5 ounce of peanuts! I used the strawberry fruit on the bottom yogurt so it tasted like peanut butter and jelly! So good!

Mixing up foods and coming up with creative dishes really helps me stay on track! Have fun with your food! I try not to eat the same thing all of the time…That way my metabolism doesn’t get used to it! Also, it keeps me from getting bored and giving up! One day…Just try mixing random things together! You’ll find you come up with some really tasty things! 🙂

Live healthy and God bless xoxo M

What is HIIT you ask?!

17 Sep

High-intensity Interval Training! Oh how wonderful it is! So many people make comments to me such as “you must spend HOURS doing cardio” or “how much cardio do you do a week?!” Well the truth is….hardly any! Once I became aware of HIIT, I was hooked! I never liked cardio. I would get extremely bored and just completely give up. Once my brother told me I should try HIIT…I was a little confused. He told me to only do it for 12 minutes! I was used to trying to get 45 minutes of cardio in and now he is telling me only 12 minutes?! Sure I was excited about the short period of time..but I was also skeptical. So, I did some research on my own and wanted to share it with you guys!

High-intensity interval training consists of short bursts of going as fast and as hard as you can followed by a short recovery time. Then you just continue to repeat that process. HIIT has been shown to reduce body fat while making sure you don’t lose any muscle! It also greatly increases your cardiovascular capacity and keeps your metabolic rate increased for hours…and sometimes even days! The coolest part about it….you should not do HIIT for more than 20 minutes!!! (bodybuilding.com “3 ways to boost cardio intensity).

So..what are some examples of HIIT you ask? You can literally do it with anything! If you have access to a track…try sprinting the curves and jogging or walking the straights! If you are just starting out I would recommend walking the straights. If you want a challenge try jogging! Or, if you are on a treadmill…sprint for 30 seconds and then job/walk for 1 minute (or longer if you need to). I personally like doing HIIT on the stairclimber! I will do a moderate pace for a minute…then go as fast as I possibly can for 30 seconds..then back to a moderate minute..then 30 seconds as fast as I can…all the way up to 12-15 minutes! Don’t try to kill yourself starting out! Pick a pace and speeds that seem reasonable to you…my sprint might be a lot slower/faster compared to yours…THATS OK! Everyone’s body is different! The important thing is that you are doing it!

HIIT is especially important when you are lifting weights and trying to gain muscle. Steady-state cardio…such as running for an hour or doing 45 minutes on the elliptical is not going to improve your level of fitness. That kind of cardio breaks down your muscles. It burns fat with burning the muscle as well..which is NOT what you want! The more muscle you have on your body, the more fat you burn, and the faster your metabolism works! “The American Journal of Physiology found that steady-state cardio decreases the ability of muscles to absorb glucose after training” (bodybuilding.com “HIIT Can Get You Huge, Especially If You Are A Meathead”). Steady state cardio limits hypertrophy which is the primary regulator of muscle growth!! (bodybuilding.com).

So…I challenge you to try HIIT this week! It is a GREAT burn and it will really make you sweat!! It also is quick and fast and it doesn’t get boring!! I really think you all will like it…and see amazing changes in your body!! Also, try picking up the weights this week! Weight lifting does WONDERFUL things for your body! Girls..DO NOT BE AFRAID OF DUMBBELLS!! THEY ARE YOUR FRIENDS!! 🙂

-Live healthy and God bless xoxo M

About This Blog & How I Lost The Weight

13 Sep

Since I have a lot of new followers…I thought it would be a good idea to share what this blog is about and how I lost the weight again!

Hi all! My name is Maria and I am 22 years old. I am a social worker and dedicate my life to healthy living!
After my weight loss story was featured on the cover of PEOPLE magazine in August of 2013, I decided I needed to share my success with others in a different kind of way….so here’s my blog!

This blog is for all those who are trying to make
their lives healthier and who need some tips, motivation, and support!

I post things such as workouts, recipes, and weight
loss tips! I believe in healthy living and making it fun! Everyone needs a little inspiration in their life!

Here’s to making our lives happier and
healthier!

When I lost 105 pounds 6 years ago, I NEVER thought I would get my story out. I had always dreamed of it happening, but I never thought it would. There were many times I would send my story to magazines, websites, etc. and always get turned down. It got to the point where I finally gave up. I trusted that God had a plan for me, and getting my story out was not in his plan. In February, I decided that I needed to go to counseling to heal some past hurts and issues. I will post more about that soon! I needed to heal myself emotionally. When I lost the weight, I only healed myself physically. The same month I first started counseling, my mom sent my story into PEOPLE magazine. Well, the rest is history! I landed on the COVER of PEOPLE magazine! God DID have a plan! It was when I finally fixed my emotional problems and past hurts, he allowed me to share my story with the world. My story is raw. It is true. It is real.

I got so many amazing texts, emails, calls, and messages from people who saw the magazine cover and the news stories. Everyone wanted to know how I did it! What my secrets were! Everything I ate! Well, now everyone can! From a little push by a good friend, I decided it was a great idea to start a blog! I am new at this….so bare with me! I plan to post pictures, recipes, what I do in the gym, random ideas and motivational tips, and a look into my personal life of living a healthy lifestyle!

SO….HERE GOES NOTHING!

So, the question of the day….HOW DID YOU LOSE SO MUCH WEIGHT AT 15?!?! Simple answer…WEIGHT WATCHERS! Growing up, I was always overweight. I didn’t play any sports, I wasn’t active, and I LOVED to eat! I especially loved to snack. There was always a snack after school…and usually two before bed! I had a good group of friends growing up and was never bullied, which was a huge blessing. I have two older brothers who were both football players…they needed to eat a lot! So, I just fell into their eating patters. I was always the “clothes holder” going shopping with friends because I couldn’t fit into the clothes in the stores they loved. It was miserable, embarrassing, and downright AWFUL!

At 15, I was 240 pounds. Size 28. And a freshman in high-school. The best friends that I had all through growing up were involved in sports once we got into high-school…I wasn’t. Therefore…they made new friends and I was left out. It happens. Being left out is a part of life. However, being so overweight, I had no self confidence to stand up for myself and try to become involved in their lives again. I simply put up a GIANT wall and ate my pain away. The hurt was terrible. I cried everyday after school. There were moments when my mom and I had to plan out who I was going to talk to in school and where I would sit in the mornings before I needed to be in homeroom. Most times, I would just sit alone.

One night, I was sitting at my kitchen table. My mom came in the front door, walked into the kitchen, and set books on the table in front of me, and walked away. I picked up the books because I was curious where she was for an hour and I saw that they were Weight Watcher books. Now, I know my mom wasn’t pressuring me to lose weight, because she did my entire life, and eventually gave up. I didn’t like knowing that people wanted me to lose weight…it actually made me eat more! So anyway, I picked up the books, and started to look through them. That’s when I saw that Weight Watchers was based on a points system. Everything you eat has a points value and you have a daily target. You use a tracker to track your points each day. When I saw that PIZZA and FRENCH FRIES had points values…and I could still eat them if I tracked my points…I knew I needed to do it! I think my mom had a heart attack when I told her I wanted to join!

That Saturday morning, my mom and I got into the car and headed to weight watchers! We got myself all signed up (with a doctors note of course) and then it was time to face the scale! I didn’t know how much I weighed. I never weighed myself and I wouldn’t even let the doctors tell me. So, I stepped onto the scale. The receptionist was so sweet and so supportive. She made the process a lot easier. They keep the scale very private so I didn’t see what I weighed until I went into the meeting room. When I saw 240…I was shocked! I knew I was heavy, but I didn’t know I was that heavy.

That was the first day of the rest of my life! I was completely changed that morning. Something just came over me and I knew good things were going to happen! My leader was incredible. My mom was by my side. I knew it would work. There were weeks of gains and weeks of binging like I used to. But I took it step by step and day by day. I never said I need to lose exactly 105 pounds. I took it 5 pounds at a time! Thinking of the end result was just too overwhelming!

SO…my advice to you…If you are ready for a change. Do it. Walk into Weight Watchers. Throw out the bad food. Start to research healthy eating. I promise it will become second nature to you and worth it! Its going to be hard. Its going to take a lot out of you. There will be tears. And there will be haters. But the end result will be wonderful. Your life will be changed.

If a normal girl like me can do it…ANYONE CAN! Feel free to ask questions in the comment box!

What I Ate Wednesday!

12 Sep

Hi Guys! SURPRISE! What I ate Wednesday is actually on…WEDNESDAY! I am sorry I’ve been posting it a few days later…but tonight I made a promise to myself I would get it out to you actually on Wednesday! So…lets get started!

Breakfast: Todays breakfast was so yummy! Peaches are in season now and taste AMAZING! So, I had Yoplait Greek yogurt with peach. Then I cut up a fresh peach from a local farmers market! TO DIE FOR! Then, on the way to my field location site, I had 1/2 ounce of cocoa dusted almonds! This breakfast kept me full all day long. The protein in the yogurt and almonds really help to keep you full!

Lunch: Lunch was quick and easy today…It was my first day of working with kids one on one…So I wasn’t sure of my time. So, it was an 100% whole wheat Arnold’s sandwich thin with 2 ounces of chicken breast lunch meat. I also had a Weight Watchers jalapeno cheese stick! Then I munched on some baby carrots!

Snack: After the school I go straight to the gym, so I always have an apple! Once I get home from the gym, its too early for dinner, so I NEED a snack! Today I was craving something crunchy and salty! So, I treated myself to 1 ounce of tortilla chips with salsa. I also had some diet pepsi..which I normally stay away from during the week. But, I have really been strict with my eating this week and needed a little treat!

Dinner: Well, this is something totally different for me, BUT IT WAS AMAZING! Robby’s dad is a hunter…So on Sunday, he gave me a TON of deer meat. I have never had deer, and honestly never thought about trying it. When I looked up the Weight Watcher points for it, I was shocked to see that it is a power food and REALLY low in points! My dad told me that’s because deer meat is so lean and much better than red meat! This was a deer roast, so I put it in the crock pot all day with just some onion soup mix. Then, I added in new potatoes! I also made fresh green beans from the local farmers market where I got the peaches! Seriously, this dinner was AMAZING! And I was shocked at how big the portion was! I am such a volume eater!

Snack: You all are going to be so bored with my snacks! However, cereal is and always will be my favorite! Tonight was special k red berries with almond milk…nothing new here! 🙂

I hope this helps give you all some ideas on what eating healthy looks like! It can be fun! And you can have all of the things that you love!

-Live healthy and God bless! xoxo M

WhAt A wHiRlWiNd!

10 Sep

Hello loves. So… I haven’t posted a lot lately…that’s because I recently started my social work practicum and it has been extremely hard getting adjusted. If you look under my Social Work tab, you will see the post about where I am doing my field work. I love being in a school district but there is so much to take in.

The first week that I started, I ended up getting extremely sick. I was on antibiotics, nausea medication, and I felt miserable! Then this week, I reinjured my shoulder. I am DEVASTATED about this injury. I’ve been struggling with it for a while now and I am going to go see a surgeon next Wednesday. So, my gym routines have been horrible! I was sick…and couldn’t go. Now my shoulder is messed up and I can barely lift! So….things have been extremely stressful.

I am really having hard time managing field work, my two classes, eating healthy, working out, and my social life. I know everyone goes through change..however, I have major anxiety when it comes to things changing! Since I can’t really do any lifting…I have to somehow come up with a new way of working out. Those who know me know that I HATE doing any sort of cardio. If anything I will do 10 minutes of HIIT…I’ll blog about that soon. SOOOOO now I am pretty much forced to. I am thinking of coming up with interval circuit type work and tabatas..that way I am not forced to be on a treadmill! Also, my diet is going to have to be pretty darn good!

What’s the motto to this blog post you wonder? Well…I wanted to show you guys that I am a normal everyday person who struggles with the same things that everyone else does. A lot of people assume that I have a “perfect” diet and a “perfect” workout routine. Well, I don’t. And I never will. I struggle just like everyone else. I have good days and bad days. Stressful days and relaxing days. Happy days and sad days. What keeps me motivated you ask? MY BEFORE PICTURE! I know that if I stop trying at the gym and stop meal planning…I would go right back to that miserable girl with the fake smile. I see how unhappy she was. I know the intense pain and hurt that she was going through. And you know what….Struggling in the gym and struggling coming up with healthy recipes is 1,000 times better than going back to that place. Eventually, my routine will kick back in. And I will be back to lifting all of the time. But, for now, I have to make due! I know that GOD is in control and everything is in his hands. “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

So…to help others who are maybe going through the same thing I am right now…I was thinking about making a list of all of the foods that I eat and foods that are good for you! Some of you may not know where to start and what to buy! They will be basic things and of course tasty! What do you guys think??

Remember, YOU ARE WORTH IT!

-Live healthy and God bless xoxo M

What I Ate Wednesday!

6 Sep

Hey all! I hope you had an amazing week. I’m not sure about you guys, but I am SO excited that today is FRIDAY! I am in need of a relaxing weekend. So as always..here is the post of “what I ate Wednesday!”

Breakfast – I woke up late..therefore I had to eat on the go! So, I made a peanut butter sandwhich with naturally more peanut butter and an Arnold’s 100% whole wheat sandwich thin! This is so easy to eat in the car….and this keeps me full until lunch time! I also had a peach along with it..they are in season now and taste AMAZING!

Lunch – I try to get as much protein as I can in for lunch. I have to eat at 11:00am at my field placement. I am not used to eating that early! So, the protein helps keep my full until the end of the day. I had baked chicken breast with roasted veggies! The veggies were zucchini, onion, & mushrooms! We roasted the vegetables on Sunday evening so I had them the entire week!

Snack – Right after my day at field, I went straight to the gym. So, on the way there I enjoyed a golden delicious apple!!

Dinner – This is one of my favorite dinners! Its super simple and easy to make, the portion size is huge, and it is so filling! Its called nutty beff noodle! It has a peanut butter sauce with green peppers and lean ground beef. Its then mixed over whole wheat pasta. You get 1 and 1/2 cups for only 9 points+!

Snack – as always, I need my snack before bed! tonights snack was special k red berries cereal with almond milk!

Let me know if there are any questions about what I eat, how I plan it out, or concerns you have! Hopefully I will have time this weekend to have another post! What kinds of posts would you all like to see??

-Live healthy and God bless! xoxo M

Creamy salsa goodness anyone?!

26 Aug

Well, since I am starting my internship tomorrow, I needed an easy dinner for the week! My crock pot is my best friend! Seriously, if you don’t have one, get one! It does marvelous things! I just love that I can throw everything in it in the morning and it will cook all day! That way, when I come home, dinner is ready and I don’t have to worry about a thing! So…one of my all time favorite dinners to make in the crockpot is Creamy Salsa Crock Pot Chicken! It literally tastes like something really high in fat and calories! It’s amazing! So…here it is!

1 pound frozen chicken breasts
1 jar tostitos salsa
1 can black beans, drained
8 oz block of fat free cream cheese (or weight watcher brand)

Place frozen chicken breasts in crock pot. Cover with salsa and drained black beans. cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or on LOW for 9-10 hours. During last 30 minutes of cooking, place cream cheese in the crock pot and let sit until done. Use two forks to shred apart chicken and stir everything together.

2/3 cup = 5 points plus!

I typically eat mine with brown rice as well! This is my dinner for tomorrow and its already tracked in my tracker! Also, I sometimes double the recipe in case I don’t want to make another dinner during the week!
Enjoy!
-xoxo M

Planning Ahead!

26 Aug


Hi everyone! I am SO sorry I haven’t posted in a few days. My boyfriend did the Tough Mudder race this weekend so I wasn’t home at all! A lot of people are asking my to make a post about how I plan out my meals in my day and by the week. Ever since I joined Weight Watchers 6 years ago, planning became a huge part of my life. It is so easy to tell yourself you are going to start eating healthy and working out….But if you don’t have a plan lined up, the chances are that you will never start!

I follow Weight Watcher points. So, I always plan a day in advance. Sunday I will write out my daily points for Monday. Monday I will plan out my daily points for Tuesday…and so on! Typically, on Saturday or Sunday I will go through all of my recipes and pick 2-3 that I will make during the week. That way I pretty much have an idea about what dinners I will have and it makes it a lot easier to plan out breakfast, lunch, and snacks. I love to plan at least a day in advance because that way, when I wake up, I don’t have to think about what I want to eat. I just look at my tracker! If I had to wake up every morning not knowing what I was going to eat, I would probably go through drive through’s and eat out!

I know that this Friday I will be going to my Robby’s nephews football game! Robby and I are going to have to leave around 4:00 because it is pretty far away from us. That means that dinner time will be at the game! So, I used my extra 49 weight watcher points already. My weeks run from Saturday-Friday which means that I don’t get those extra 49 points until next Saturday. So, at the football game, I really need to stick to my daily points allowance! I plan on packing a dinner for Robby and I and snacks for later! That way, we don’t even have to go to the concession stand and be tempted!

As you can see, planning is a lot of work, and it takes time! But, sitting down for 5 minutes a night is definitely worth it in order to live a healthy life and lose that weight! YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Comment below if you guys have ANY questions! Have fun with planning!
-xoxo M

WhAt I aTe WeDnEsDaY!

22 Aug

So..as promised, I am going to share with you guys EVERYTHING I ate today! So many people struggle with coming up with food ideas when they are trying to lose weight or just eat healthy! It takes a lot of experimenting! I still struggle with it…sometimes NOTHING looks good in my fridge or pantry. Its about being creative and listening to your cravings! So….here is “what I ate Wednesday!”

Breakfast: 1/2 of an Arnold 100% whole wheat sandwich thin toasted…with an egg fried up (cooking spray in pan;break yolk)…with a slice of reduced fat cheese and tomatoes! I always like to pair carbs and protein together for breakfast! It helps to give me the energy I need and it keeps me full all day long!

Snack: I needed a quick and easy snack today….I was really busy with running errands….So, I sliced up a Fuji apple and dipped the slices into 1 TBSP natural peanut butter. Such a treat!!

Lunch: Lunch was quick and easy today! Chicken breast baked in the oven with a little bit of Cajun chicken seasoning. A side of broccoli. and of course a little bit of ketchup! I LOVE ketchup and have to watch how much I eat. But, I will never give it up! I tried not eating it for a month and ended up gaining weight because I would pick at more food because I was missing having it! Crazy, I know…but having it works best for me! All in moderation!

Dinner: I was meeting an old Weight Watcher friend tonight for dinner at Panera Bread. You have to be careful there! A lot of the things on the menu are TERRIBLE for you!! However, they have a HIDDEN menu with AMAZING options! Tonight I had the Power Mediterranean chicken salad. It has spinach, lettuce, grilled chicken, tomatoes, and a hard boiled egg. Dressing was olive oil and lemon juice on the side! So good and it felt like I was eating something bad!

Snack: I LOVE to have a snack at night after dinner. It is something I will always do! Now, when I was overweight the portion would be HUGE! Almost 3 bowels of cereal. Now, I make sure I measure everything out! I had a good amount of points left over tonight so I was able to have a higher point snack. I had 1 cup of Raisin Bran with Flax seeds and 1 cup of skim milk!

I hope this gave you some insight into what my days look like! typically its breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks! Sometimes I can fit in 3 snacks! I track my food by using Weight Watchers points plus values. Everyone has a different points plus value depending on height, weight, age, and gender.

What were some of the things you guys ate or tried today that you really enjoy having?!

-God bless and live healthy!
– M xoxo

Another great blog!

20 Aug

Hey everyone! Want another awesome blog about weight loss and healthy living?? Check out Mama Is Losing It! She just posted some great before and after pictures I think all of you would like to see! She is such an inspiration! http://mamaislosingit.com/