Friday, September 20, 2013

Fitness & Food Apps That Make A Healthy Lifestyle Easy

Happy Friday Everyone!!!!! 

This morning I am going to share with you all some of the best fitness and health apps that are all FREE and can assist with your healthy lifestyle. The biggest misconception, in regards to health and fitness, is that you have to spend a ton of money to achieve your personal goals. Access to helpful resources has become way easier! There are tons of reliable websites and apps that will help you get into tip-top shape while also mastering healthier ways of eating.

1. Couch to 5K: This app creates a running schedule for you. It will set a weekly pace that will have you running 3 miles in no time.

2. Food Heaven Made Easy: Try watching Wendy & Jess as they use all natural and clean ingredients to whip up everything from vegetarian and soul food to guilt-free drinks and desserts. Their youtube channel has video tutorials and their website has printables for easy recipes.

3. Fooducale: Confused bu nutrition labels? This app will break everything down for you as soon as you scan the bar code. The best part is it will show you a healthier alternative if the item is not a good food choice. ** I will be downloading this app asap! **

4. My Fitness Pal: I use this on a regular. It's very similar to Fooducale however this keeps a log of all the food you eat during the day and helps you calculate the types of exercises as well. Keeps track of your calorie intake and you can log in with your friends, which is also cool because this helps you motivate them and keep them on track!!

5. Map My Walking: I use this a lot to be honest. This tracks how fast and far I walk or run. It also keeps track of how many calories I burned. Very similar to Nike Run!!

So with all of these websites and free apps there should be no excuse as to why anyone shouldn't be able to stay focused. Remember this healthy lifestyle starts with YOU!! 

Have a safe weekend!!!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Don't Quit

How Much is Too Much Working Out

Do you work out every day and worry that you're addicted? To score the most from exercise, you only need to go hard three or four times a week. The fact is, hitting the gym too often can make often can make you less fit. The benefits you want from working out, getting leaner, stronger, healthier- reverse when you don't take breaks. For starters, your muscles aren't designed to kill it 24/7. Exercise creates tiny tears in muscle fiber, and when given a chance to heal, the fibers build. But without recovery, you won't see those changes in tone or strength. 

Too much exercise can leave you exhausted. Over exercising can have a sneaky psychological drawback. It traps you into a cycle of believing that if you let a day go by without logging a workout, you'll  get fat or instantly fall out of shape. Working out should enhance your life: friends, job, body and mind.

I normally workout 5 times a week. That doesn't mean I'm in the gym everyday. I mix it up weekly. Besides the gym I add on roller-skating, swimming, taking my daughter to the park, taking a quick run downtown after work and the list goes on. Don't think you HAVE to hit the gym everyday your body needs a day of rest and you don't want to over work yourself. 

Remember Work Out, Don't Burn Out


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Is Running Effective for Weight Loss?

Good Morning Everyone.....

Many new runners hit the pavement with hopes of losing weight.  Then, after a week or two of grueling runs they quit their program out of frustration.  They see no results on the scale, their feet hurt and their joints ache.  It leaves many dieters wondering if running is bad for weight loss. If you want to lose weight with exercise, you'll need to pay attention to the intensity, frequency and duration of your exercise sessions.  You need to exercise hard enough to burn calories but not so hard that you get injured or burned out.  Each exercise session needs to be long enough to burn fat and your sessions need to be frequent enough to create a calorie deficit over the long term. 

Alternatives to Running for Weight Loss
If you've started a running program and you're sticking to it, then don't change a thing.  The best exercise program for anyone is the one that you stick to.  But if you fall into the group of people who find running too hard on their bodies, there are good alternatives.
If you eventually want to become a runner, think about doing walk/run intervals.   These can even be structured as high intensity intervals (HIIT) if you are healthy enough for vigorous exercise.  HIIT workouts have been shown to be extremely effective for weight loss.  You can also try aqua jogging.  This activity mimics the movements of jogging, so it prepares your muscles for the sport without the initial impact of your weight on the pavement.
For instance you can always invest in a good bike or roller blades. Now don't laugh but roller blades can be fun it's just like ice skating..(hahaha). On on more serious note I personally dislike running but when I do run I always make sure I have on the right shoes first. I prefer my fast pace walk because I can burn just as many calories and it's better on my feet.
So if you are just starting out my suggestion is to start with a fast pace walk and gradually add running into the mix. Don't go out on your first day and try and conquer 6 miles!! Take it slow and more important invest in running shoes!! 
Stay Motivated and Don't Lose Focus!!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back...Stronger than ever!!!

The Summer has slowly drifted away. No more cookouts and vacations. Now the holidays are just around the corner and already many people are wondering how in the heck will they stay focused. LOL. This has been one tough year for me personally. My mother got sick and suddenly passed away in July. So with taking care of her I somewhat became distant from my healthy lifestyle. No time for blogging, working out and forget about eating right. Then one day I looked in the mirror and thought about how my mother loved when I stayed on my grind. So after a brief break....I'm back!!

July 1, 2013 my world changed forever. My mother became my Angel and I weighed 186lbs. As of today September 15, 2013 I am at 159lbs exactly. Talk about staying focused. I reverted back to how I was in 2009 when I started this journey. One meat per day. No fried food. Fresh veggies and fruits. More protein. I increased my gym time and tried new things. From swimming, to running at Federal Hill and through downtown Baltimore, walking and running around Lake Montebello & Druid Hill Park, and focusing more on my core so that I can get the toned body that I always wanted. 

So this next go round with my blog I will continue to motivate and encourage everyone but I'm going to post some of the workouts that I do and different tips to help everyone make better choices.

Like always this road is never easy but when you surround yourself with people who are in the fight with you...its a piece of cake!!!

Enjoy your Sunday and stay tuned!! The best is yet to come!!

~Wendy (BAM Jr.)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cutting Fast Food

Good Morning.....

So one of my dear Sorority Sister's passed me this article this morning pertaining to fixing healthy food for your I am going to share!!

The website the article was taken from is:

Raising hearty boys amidst our fast food culture is not as easy as a mom would hope. Our schedule often become monopolized with school programs, sports, church functions, and other extra-curricular activities. It’s just too easy to default to fast-food and other convenience foods. On top of all of that, the “nutrition advice” our government has purported that we learned from childhood has resulted in a nation of fat and sick people living a less than optimal life.
The rates of ADHD, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases in children are rising. Your sons are more likely than ever to become afflicted with one of these problems while they are still a child. On top of that, it appears that the life expectancy rates are now declining. But there are things you can do to give your son an optimal start to life, lower his risk of disease, and help his body heal from any existing maladies.

What’s a Mom to Do?

Making family dietary changes can impact the health of your family more than just about anything. Don’t go out and do a total overhaul of your diet today, though.
Make one small, manageable change at a time. Stick with it. Baby steps.
If you try to do a complete overhaul, chances are you’ll get burned out and won’t stick with it. There are many people who look in on my life and wonder how we’ve moved from a diet with a decent share of convenience foods, pasta, and sugary treats to a nourishing nutrient-rich whole foods diet. It didn’t happen overnight.

Where Should I Start?

There are any number of places you can start. Start with with changes that are easy to implement. Stick with it for at least a month —make it a habit. Then, move on to the next change. Here are some ideas for small changes you can start with.
1. Find a source of farm-fresh eggs and begin using them on a regular basis. Your family won’t even miss the anemic eggs you’ve been purchasing from the store. Along with having a more robust flavor eggs from happy hens allowed access to pasture are more nutrient-dense. Your eggs purchased from a local farmer contain:
    • twice as many omega-3 fatty acids
    • 2/3 more vitamin A
    • 3 times more vitamin E
    • 7 times more beta carotene
    • 4-6 time more vitamin D
2. Increase consumption of healthy fats. Yes, increase fat consumption! It’s a myth that fat makes you fat. Fat is an excellent source of fuel. Fat nourishes the body as well as the mind. Be sure you are using natural, real fats.
When your sons don’t get enough fat it will rob their brains of the raw materials they need to function.Diets high in saturated fat have been found to be effective treatment for epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and prevention of stroke.
3. Cut the sugar! I mean, really cut the sugar. Sugar is difficult to get away from, but extremely detrimental to your health.
You may even need to decrease or eliminate natural sugars from fruits for a time. Many kids (and adults) are addicted to sugar and it can be difficult to break the addiction while eating even natural sugars. You may want to begin cutting sugar back a bit at a time.
Stop buying cereal, pop tarts, and other sugary breakfast items. Replace these with eggs cooked in grass-fed butter or coconut oil, bacon, and sausage. This is great brain food and a fantastic way to start day.
When I began feeding my boys a high protein breakfast with plenty of fat they stayed full for much longer. They used to complain that they were hungry constantly and snack throughout the entire day (no wonder—their blood sugar levels were like a roller coaster). Now, my boys are satisfied with their meals and ask for snacks much less frequently.
After you tackle the sugary breakfast, work on cutting sugar throughout the rest of your boys’ day. If you are able to tackle the sugar issue, your boys will be much better for it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Thank You

This has been a rough time for me but I just have to thank EVERYONE who has sent a prayer in regards to my mom has she battles lung cancer. I really appreciate the phone calls, texts, FB messages and just emails of prayers.
A new post will be done tomorrow...remember to stay focused and motivated.

I love you all ♥♥♥♥♥♥


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Common Mistakes Concerning Weight Loss

Sometimes, exercises with the best intentions lose the least amount of weight. What's worse is that they often seen their friends slim down just weeks after starting a new workout program. It can be frustrating and confusing. So what makes one weight loss workout plan effective and another one fail? There could be a number of factors involved. But in many cases, the cause can be traced to one of these blunders. If you've been struggling to shed a few pounds and your exercise plan isn't yielding any results, see if you are making one of these common workout mistakes.

1. Doing the same workout day after day. It's not a bad thing to exercise every day, and it's not necessarily a bad to do the same workout everyday to maintain heart health. But if you want to lose weight, repeating the same workout mode, intensity, or duration day after day won't work. Why? Your body adjusts to the daily workload and you hit a dreadful plateau.

To fix this try and develop a workout schedule that involves different activities, different intensity levels and different sessions lengths. Try taking classes and since the weather is warming up try outdoor training. Switching up is better anyway because you don't get bored with the same routines!!

2. Compensating by eating more. When you add exercise to your daily routine, you are likely to become more hungry than usual and want to eat more. Dealing with that hunger can be a uphill battle, because there is often a little voice inside your head that says, " I can eat whatever I want because I exercised today."

That rationale makes sense. But if you are trying to lose weight with exercise, you need to achieve a calorie deficit at the end of the day. If you satisfy your post-exercise hunger with high calorie foods or with too much food, you'll end up replacing all of the calories you burned. 

3. Decreasing non-exercise physical activity. It's great if you go to the gym every day and complete a killer workout- unless the payoff is that you spend the rest of the day on the couch. If you compensate for your workout by decreasing the amount of non-exercise physical activity that you do during the day, your total daily caloric expenditure may end up being the same as if you hadn't gone to the gym. 

4. Using supplements/sports drinks. Do you refuel during your workout with sports drinks or bars? Do you grab a high calorie , high sugar supplement drink or bar after the workout is complete? If so, you're probably erasing the calorie deficit that you just earned. For more people that exercise, WATER is the best choice for hydration. Remember there are hundreds of products on the market and, sadly most of them do nothing but make empty promises and drain your wallet. 


Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Skinny on Milk

So I went and purchased the new Self magazine with Beyonce on the cover. While reading I noticed they had a great breakdown on the pros and cons of various types of milk that I thought was interesting. So I am going to share a little bit of what they talked about.

Cow's Milk (skim)

Pros: Loaded with calcium, protein, and potassisum, lowfat milk offers, for many people, the most nutritional bang for their buck.

Cons: This type of milk is off limits for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant. To make matters worse there is some concern about the use of growth hormones or antibiotics in cow's feed. (Yuck!!)

Soy Milk (light)

Pros: Made from a mixture of heart-healthy soybeans and water, this nondairy vegan pick contains almost as much protein as soy milk.

Cons: Some studies have linked high soy intake to health conditions ranging from digestive ailments to reproductive disroders.

Almond Milk

Pros: This low-calorie drink boasts a whole milk-like texture and a big dose of antidoxidant vitamin E. It's sweet, nutty flavor is a excellent complement to coffee and breakfast cereal.

Cons: Though typically enriched wih calcium and vitamin D, almond milk loses fiber and protein during production.

Goat's Milk

Pros: The new non-vegan kid in the dairy aisle is easier to digest than cow's milk because it lacks a protein that can trigger allergies.

Cons: Goat's milk has more saturated fat than any of the other milk alternatives and a tangy taste that can take some getting used too.

Coconut Milk

Pros: This fresh blend of coconut pulp and water is fortified with vitamin B12 which promotes a healthy nervous system.

Cons: All 5 grams of fat in a serving are saturated (that's a third of the daiy limit for women on a 1,600-calories-per0day diet.) So take baby sips!!1

Rice Milk

Pros: Combine partially milled rice with water and you get the ultimate cholesterol-free hypoallergenic beverage, a savior for those avoiding soy, nuts, or dairy.

Cons: Rice milk has minimal amounts of protein and fiber and lots of carbs, 23 grams in one cup!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I am Determined

Patience is a virtue many do not possess. We have very little difficulty identifying what we want and need. The difficulty comes in waiting for it to manifest. We become nervous, doubtful, even fearful when we don't see our good coming as quickly as we think it should. Sometimes we even allow ourselves to believe someone or something can hold us back or stop our good from coming. We worry, we complain and sometimes we give up hope. We cannot see how we get in our own way. We forget about universal timing and divine order. We may not realize how our negative thoughts, doubts  and fears uproot the positive seeds we plant. We just don't understand that we would not have the desire unless the supply were ready to come forward. We must learn the virtue of patience because every time we open the oven door, we run the risk of making a good cake fall.

I shared this positive message this morning to say that even if you have been working out and eating right, results don't come overnight. You can not keep pressuring yourself when you don't see the weight dropping off as quickly as you would like. If you still attend happy hours and drink a lot of alcohol more than likely you won't get the results you want. Remember this takes time and a lot of dedication to get the results you want.

Continue to have positive thoughts and stay will thank me later!!!!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Great Website

Good Morning...I hope everyone had a great weekend. I have came across this amazing website that I want to pass on to my readers...Please check it out, you will thank me later..


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yes, I Can Lose Weight!

It's hard to feel good if you don't look good, and it's hard to stick to your diet if your self-confidence is in the gutter. But how do you boost your confidence if you feel bad about your body? Many dieters wait until they are the perfect size to invest any time or effort into their appearance. But they've got it backwards. You need to invest in yourself everyday, starting at the beginning of your diet, so that you look fabulous., feel empowered and believe that you are capable of doing everything you set out to do.

Self-efficacy is your belief that you can successfully carry out a specific task. if you start your weight loss journal with the words, " I can lose weight!", your self-efficacy with regards to weight loss is probably high. Self-efficacy generally relates to a specific goal. For example, you may have strong beliefs that you are capable of skipping a high-calorie late-night snack. That means your self-efficacy regarding late-night snacking is high, but you might have doubts about whether you're going to get up early the next morning to work out. Your self-efficacy regarding the morning workout is low.

Ways to Improve Self-Efficacy to Lose Weight

1. Set and reach goals. Always start with small goals that will act as stepping stones to larger accomplishments. The completion of each small task will build your level of self-efficacy for completing larger tasks in the future.

2.  Surround yourself with positive messages. If the people that surround you are successfully completing the goal that you want to achieve, you're more likely to believe that you can do it, too. Find friends that have some habits that you admire. Instead of going to happy hour with your friends, find some new friends that want to hit the gym and exercise.

3. Social persuasion. Talk to your family and friends. Let them know that their encouragement  and positive messages make a difference. If your family or friends are not supportive, this is another area where social media can help. Get connected with me. Visit my blog for your motivational support!!!

4. Learn to Relax. If you have intense emotional reactions to situations, your self-efficacy with regards to your ability to handle that situation will probably be low. Take some time to identify the situations that cause you to react strongly. Then, learn relaxation techniques that will help you to manage them with a calm demeanor.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Self Image

We have such poor images of ourselves that we have difficulty understanding the good others see in us. When someone gives us a compliment, we are quick to point out what is wrong. When someone supports or encourages us, we remind them of our failures. We play ourselves down to such a degree that others begin to question the faith they have placed in us. This vicious cycle can only lower our already low self-esteem. Today is a good time to rethink our thoughts about ourselves. We can accept the compliments we receive when we give them to ourselves first. We can build our confidence by celebrating our small victories and successes. We can support the faith and trust others have in us by supporting and having faith in ourselves. It all begins with our willingness to acknowledge that we are really fine, just the way we are.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Positive Thoughts!!!!

Does Meal Timing Matter If Your Trying To Lose Weight?

Happy  Tuesday!!!

This method took me a while to get used too. I always ate when I was hungry! Now I have a developed a routine (depending on what shift I am working) that works best for me. Usually I do not eat after 7:30pm however if I do it's usually a piece of fruit or a yogurt. If you can't time your meals perfectly throughout the day, just start with just timing how late you eat. For instance just try and eat your dinner no later than 7:30 each night. Once you get the hang of that you should be able to include the best times to eat breakfast and lunch. 

If you can't lose weight, look at your own meal-timing pattern and see if it affects your ability to eat reasonable portions at each meal, exercise vigorously, sleep well, and avoid mindless snacking. Monitor your caloric intake with different meal schedules to see if there is any pattern. Do you overeat at dinner when you skip lunch? Do you snack on starchy high-fat food when you skip breakfast? 

For example, today I ate breakfast at 7:30am (a bowl of special K with a yogurt), between 9:30 and 10:30 I will have a snack (either my orange or a special K bar) depending on how busy I am around noon and 1pm I will have my lunch which will carry me over until I leave work this afternoon. Like always I have my snack bag which is just another piece of fruit and some nuts just in case I have the munchies on the ride home. Dinner tonight will be baked fish, steamed veggies and a baked sweet potato which I plan on eating between 6-630pm. 

A lot of people that I know eat when they are hungry. Also your career plays a huge part in how you eat and what time your eating. My rule of thumb is you have to crawl before you walk. So on that not try for a week and see how well you stick to your plan. Make your grocery list and plan out your meals and snacks for the entire week and map out the times you plan on eating. Now don't get upset when you can't eat during the time you had set out for. Trust me when I get a new case and I can't eat dinner at 6pm I just have to improvise and change some things around but the key is don't eat too heavy late at night. 


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Inner Strength

Fear, lack of confidence and low self-esteem tends to make us jump to conclusions. If what we are facing is near to our hearts, we have a tendency to expect the worst. We miss so much, including opportunities to change, when we jump to the end from the middle. We forget our focus and our goal when we poise ourselves for failure. The ancient Africans knew that no matter what was going to happen, it would not happened until it happened. Therefore, they were prepared for all possibilities, the good and the bad. Do not jump to conclusions, you could be wrong. Do not pull out in the middle, that is a total waste of time. Keep your faith, trust and stay focused, put your best foot out anyway. The ancient ones had faith and trusted, knowing the end is only a reflection of the beginning.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Excuse After Excuse.....

Most of the time, excuses are made out of pure laziness. For people who are constantly making excuses..the negative energy it takes to do so could instead be used on getting things DONE! Great things come to those who work hard for it and that goes for everything in life. Opportunities will pass you by if you don't take advantage of them. Simple as that. So next time you hear someone whining about why they aren't where they want to be in life...ask them what they have done to get there.

It's Worth It

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How Can I Not Feel Hungry all the Time?

It's normal to feel hungry when you start a new exercise regimen or you increase your exercise frequency or intensity. You're burning more calories, so your body needs to take more in. Make sure you get lots of healthy, high-fiber foods in your diet. Most high-fiber foods require more chewing, which helps to satisfy hunger. Spread out your calories by eating five to six small meals as opposed to three large ones during the day. 

If you wait too long for a large meal, you'll be starving and tempted to overindulged by the time you eat. Remember eating more frequent, smaller meals helps keep you full, and lets you stay in control.Slow down when you're eating. It takes our body 20 minutes to realize it's full. If you eat quickly, you'll eat extra calories while your body is figuring out whether it's hungry. If you eat slowly, your brain will start sending signals to stop eating at the right time.


You Got This

Monday, March 4, 2013

Keep the Faith

Summer Bodies are Earned in the Winter

Spring is around the corner and before you know it summer will be here but will you be  ready to enjoy it? If you want to look great this summer the time is now. If you'd prefer to make reasonable changes, lose weight at a steady pace, add some sexy lean muscle to your frame and keep the weight off for good, then you need to start now. If your workplace has a gym then take advantage of it. Pack your gym clothes with you and after work take a coworker along and hit the gym. Where I work there is a gym and also they offer free Zumba classes at the Police Academy. 

Within the past few weeks the stores at the mall have placed all of the newest items for the spring and the summer months. If you see something you want to wear now is the time to dig deep within yourself and get motivated to put the necessary work in. Trust me the results will pay off in the long run. Work hard now and enjoy that sexy dress you want to wear this summer!!


If you don't believe you can do it, you will never find the motivation necessary to start.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Springing Into Action

Good Morning!!! I hope everyone had a blessed weekend. All is well over here. Spring will be here on March 21st but it's not to late to get back on track if you fell off. Over the weekend I had a few people come to me and express how much they love reading my blog and I how I keep them motivated however at times they just want to throw in the towel because they don't see results fast enough.

People results will only appear if you put in the work. If you don't eat right and don't do any type of exercising then you will only make matters worse. You have to set a small goal and take it from there. The weather will be changing soon and this will be the perfect time to maybe take a walk  around a track. Grab a girlfriend. Take the kids. Also from time to time I like to go to the malls before they open and walk around a few times. Believe or not the average mall is about 1.5 miles (per floor). This is something that a person has to want to do. No one can make you do anything but you can't think just because you fell off that you can't get back on track.

Becoming active takes time and a lot of discipline. You have to crawl before you can walk. However once you take your first step it becomes easier and you build up your motivation. I always said this will not happen over night but you can't lose focus after a week when you don't put in any work. Three weeks ago I had a visit with my nutritionist and told me that he was very proud of how I always manage to stay focused and he wanted me to speak with some of his clients who was just starting this lifestyle change. It's all about changing for the better and enjoying life. There have bee plenty of times I fell off and just like a kid learning how to ride a bike, I dusted myself off and got back on the bike.

Don't let the spring/summer pass by and you are still in a slump because you haven't seen any results. This is the day you get off the couch...stop feeding yourself with excuses...and do something about it.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Where Do I Start?

Good Afternoon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a late start for me today, usually I try and get a good post first thing in the morning but the life of a Detective kept me from doing that. So today we are going to talk about a starting point. One of the first things you must do is "Change Your Eating Habits." Many people are used to eating a certain way and never think about what they are actually  putting into their bodies. For example, some people regularly drink six cans or more of regular soda every day, but when they find out there are about nine teaspoons of sugar in one can, it puts things more in perspective. Start by slowly changing your habits. Try cutting back three cans a day, then to two and so on, and then start replacing some of the soda with healthier options.

"Start With Small Changes" You don't have to go cold turkey. In the end, you want to achieve a long-term healthy lifestyle. Small changes over time are the most likely to stick. when you think about what you need to get  more of, the other things tend to fall into place. Pick one or two changes to start with. Once the changes have become habits, which usually happens in about two to four weeks, then try adding one or two more.

"Control Portion Sizes" Remember when the servings go up, so do the calories, fat, sugar, and salt. Other suggestions include, dishing out a smaller amount on your plate. FYI ( try eating from a smaller than rather than your usual larger plate.) If you put more food in front of you, you'll eat it because it's there. 

"Limit Added Sugars" Added sugars are sugars and syrups added to foods and beverages in processing or preparation, not the naturally occurring sugars in fruits or milk. Major sources of added sugars come from sodas, candy, cake , cookies, pies and fruit drinks. Sugar may be listed as: brown sugar, corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, honey and molasses. 

Like I have stated in previous posts, this lifestyle change does not happen overnight. In order to achieve the maximum goals that you set for yourself you have to plan accordingly. Just by taking one day at a time you can see a major difference within a few weeks. The key to this lifestyle change is remaining focused and having will-power. Having a strong support system also helps but the if you don't believe in yourself, then you are selling yourself short!!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013


There are no guarantees in life, but it is a sure thing that you will get back what you give. If you give 100 persent of your attention, energy and time to a thing you will get that exactly back. Spending your time and attention focused on what you cannot do and and do not have assres that more of the same will come. When you concentrate on lack, weakness, fault and blame, it is sure to become a reality. Nobody has everything, but everybody has something. Use what you have right now! Use it wisely, freely, with love. Wherever yo are, use yor time, energy and talents to do the best you can right now. Give no thoughts to what is missin. Spend no time wishing it were better. Make sure you give all that you have to make sure you will get all that you need.

Stop making excuses!!! Give everything 100 percent all the time and trust me you will get the results you were trying to get!!!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Tips for Eating Out on a Diet

Happy Monday!!!! I hope that everyone had a blessed weekend! Today I am going to share a few tips that has helped me while eating out but still watching what I ate.

** Order your main dish from the appetzer menu**

Not only are appetizers more reasonably-portioned, they will save you some money as well. This is a great way o save enough calories and cash to split dessert with someone. If you think the small appetizer won't be enough then add a side salad or add a bowl of soup.

**Beware of these high-dat menu buzz words**

Creme sauce, butter, oil, au gratin, breaded, Alfredo, battered or battered-dipped, "with gravy", or smothered. Unless you've spared yourself treats for several days and snacked on salad greems all day, these little "extras" aren't worth the extra calories.

**Modify the menu**

Try and make special requests. Many restuaurants will tak your dietary needs into account so you'll be a happy customer and return.

** Meat Lovers**

As tempting as that bucket of chicken looked on the commercial before you left home, order poultry steamed, poached, roasted, broiled, grilled or baked. Ask for skinless chicken whenever possible or remove it yourself. If you do treat yourself to a piece of fried chicken, choose white meat as it has fewer calories than dark.

** Endless Pasta**

Endless pasta at your favorite Italian restaurant may be a carb-lovers' heaven, but it's a waist-widening trap for those of us who tend to overeat. (How are you suppose to know when to say "when" if they keep bringing more?) As tempting as the great "value" for your money that infinitely-refilling pasta bowl seems, it's certainly not a bargain for your calorie budget. Order a portion-controlled main dish instead.

**Take control of takeout**

Who says you can't enjoy a nice takeout dinner when you're dieting? Remember there are many healthy options at ethnic restaurants. portion control is key, though. Take out half of your takeout before dishing up your dinner, put the food in microwave containers and tuck it away in the fridge before you even start eating. You have to maintain your will-power not to go for seconds!!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Health Fair this Weekend

Free Health Fair this Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the Baltimore Convention Center from 10am-5pm!!!

I hope to see some of you there!!!!!


Keeping the Weight Off for Good

Losing weight is difficult enough. But dieters are also faced with the fact that odds are stacked aganist them for a long-term success. As of today, I am also walking this journey with keeping the weight off. Trust me this is no walk in the park but over the years I have grown to keep myself motivated.

I have learned that once you reach your goal weight, the worst thing you can do is resume your old eating habits. Remember that those are the eating habits that caused the weight gain in the first place. I'm not saying that you can't enjoy your favorite foods however remember to eat in portions and make sure it is the correct serving size. Don't eat your favorites during the entire day, if you have a healthy breakfast and maybe a salad for lunch, if you want to have that burger or wings for dinner by all means enjoy it!!

Also keep in mind to stay connected to your sources of support. The same people who supported you in the dieting process will help you maintain your weight loss. Stay educated!!! Attend health seminars and pertake in fitness fairs. Make sure you stay up to date with  the new changes in the health field.

If you know someone who is ready to walk in your shoes then become a mentor to that person. One of the best ways to stay educated is to teach your weight-loss skills. What a great feeling it is to motivate and encourage others to follow your lead.

This is a new lifestyle change for a lot of people and in order to adapt to this change everyone needs to motivate one another. This is why I got back to blogging. I love reading the emails and text messages about how I have helped someone who inspired someone who just needed a little push to get back on track!!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ways to Burn Calories

How many calories can you burn with simple changes to your lifestyle? It turns out that the little things you do during the day make a big difference in the number of calories you burn.

Burn more calories at the office.

If you have a job that you have to sit all day remember for extended periods this could become a cause of weight gain in some people. If you have a desk job, create a habit to get up for at least 15 minutes every hour. Take a walk to the farthest restroom, run an errand, take the stairs instead of the elevator or do your filing from a standing rather than seated position.

Burn more calories while you relax.

Instead of just laying across the bed or sitting on the couch as you watch television fold laundry, dust furniture or sweep the floor while you watch tv. If you like to talk on the food, walk around during your chat instead of sitting down. 

Burn more calories with daily chores.

Spring cleaning is fast approaching so with that being said get out the mops and buckets and get ready to burn calories and you clean. I use  which allows me to see how many calories I have burned during my daily cleaning. Download the app and let me know how you like it!

Burn more calories at social events.

How many times have you entered a party at a friend's home and scanned the room for the comfy place to sit? The next time you go to a party, burn extra calories by becoming more social. Choose to stand or circle the room and talk to as many people as possible. Offer to help in the kitchen or offer to stay afterwards and clean up. I do this all the when I attend a gathering. I try my best not to sit while I'm talking to people. Also if the music is blasting make sure you dance the night away. Believe me when I say the more you dance the more calories you are burning.


Meal Planning & Shopping: How To Make a Grocery List

Okay. You all may wonder why is she blogging about grocery shopping? I thought I was doing something when I went to the market and grabbed the items that I needed, but after starting this journey back in 2009 I quickly learned that I didn't know as much as I thought I did. A shopping list list can simply include fresh foods and ready-to-eat snacks, along with additional ingredients you'll need for upcoming meals. Some foods will need to be replenished every few days and others might last longer.

What foods go on the list? For starters vegetables and fruits should make up the largest part of your grocery list. They're rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and are usually low in calories. Choose a variety of green, orange, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables. I know fresh fruit and veggies can be a little on the expensive side but you have some farmer markets that are all-year round, and try and grab items that are in season.

Most of your grain and cereal products should be made from WHOLE GRAINS, not from refined flours. This part of your list includes 100-percent whole grains breads, pasta, and breakfast cereals. Please read the labels and check the ingredients before you purchase anything pertaining to whole grains.

Your protein and meat choices should consist mostly of fresh fish, poultry, and lean meats. Eggs, nuts, and seeds are also good protein choices. Avoid breaded, deep-fried convenience foods that you put in the oven. They are high in fat and sodium. (Stay away from Murray's products!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Keep beverages simple. Water, low-fat milk, juices and herbal teas are all good choices. 

Diary products should include low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. If you do not want cows' milk, choose soy and rice beverages or goat milk and cheese. 

Be careful with dressings, cooking oils, and condiments. They are sneaky sources or refined sugar and poor quality oils. Read labels to choose dressings made with olive oil, canola oil or walnut oil.Choose low-fay mayo for your sandwiches and choose canola oil and olive oil for cooking.

When it comes to frozen foods avoid pizza, pocket-sandwiches, deep-fried appetizers and breaded foods.

Foods in cans and jars are also convenient. Look for low-sodium soups, vegetables and sauces. Avoid high-fat gravies and high-calorie foods like canned spaghetti and ravioli products.

When it comes to lunch meats please avoid processed lunch meats, sausages and hot dogs. I know everyone loves hot dogs especially me if its cooked on the grill but its all on the amount that you eat. 

Now in 2013 I can say that it takes me a while to go grocery shopping because I read everything that I put inside of my cart. Before if it was on sale or the price was right I would grab it. Nowadays it's all about healthy living and making sure I put the right things inside of my body. Remember an extra 5min to glance at the food labels could make a difference in your weight loss!!!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Excuses Are The Tools of the Weak....

Are you getting the weight loss results you want? Often, people feel that they don't have the time or the support that they need to really commit to a diet and exercise program and lose the weight. They may also feel that they don't have the access to the healthy foods or the gym that would make them lose weight. If you have ever used excuses when it came time to exercise then make today the last time you do!!!

Excuse #1 Lack of time.

Prioritize. The time that you devote to losing weight may not be the best time for you to invest in other avenues of your life. See if there are ways to put some pursuits on the backburner so that your health takes the top slot. 

Organize a schedule. Find windows of time that are not consumed by absolute necessities. Find time slots for healthy food preparation and exercise. Post the calendar in a place where you will be able to see it and use it daily. Now I have invested in a calendar from Target (6.99) and I live by this!! This helps me stay on track so I can accomplish everything that I have planned for that day.

Excuse #2 Lack of Access to Healthy Food or Exercise Facilities.

There is no doubt about food is more accessible than healthy food. And id lack of time is also an issue in your life, you probably also know that fast food is quicker. It is not surprising that many people have trouble losing weight because they don't have easy access to the right food.

The same challenge holds true for exercise. Most of us don't have a well-equipped gym and a personal trainer at our immediate disposal. So when we are already strapped for time, how do we get to the gym, learn to exercise and find time for a calorie busting workout?

Here is what I do...

When I work day work I usually pack my gym clothes with me and hit the gym at my job. When I'm working the evening shift I workout in the morning. So I may go to the gym or to Lake Montebello for a run. Also if you have On Demand on cable then you should know they have a Fitness channel which has some of the best workouts. Ranging from 10-15 min workouts, Abs, Cardio, Weights, you name it!! Just invest in some light weights, a mat and maybe a ball so you can have the basics at home. 

The path to weight loss success isn't an easy one. But if you stop using excuses you can identify and overcome the barriers that hold you back. 


Getting Support from Family & Friends

Friends and family play a major role in the success of your weight loss plan. Social support can help you stick to a diet and stay on track with a new exercise plan. But the people around you can have a negative impact as well. Sometimes, well-intentioned loved ones sabotage your success. When I first started this journey in 2009 my mother already knew that when she fixed her Sunday dinners that my food had to be baked. She supported me 110% from day one. Now my father on the other hand, yes I love him dearly but sometimes he would call me names such as "Fatty Pooh" or say things like "when are you gonna lose some weight". I know he did not mean any harm but during my heaviest times I was very sensitive to my weight.

Here are some tips that may help you...

Situation: Family gatherings focus mainly on food.

Solution: Try and encourage members of your family to offer low calorie options during family feasts. Menus are often planned out of habit and tradition. Remember old family food traditions can be blended with newer healthier options so that your weight-loss efforts aren't derailed when you sit down at the table.

Situation: Friends and family plan activities during your scheduled workout time.

Solution: It's easy for social pressure to get the best of you. Rather than trying to say "no" to attractive invitations, suggest an alternative plan instead. If a co-worker get's upset when you declined his/her happy hour invitation, see if they belong to your gym and invite them to one of your classes. 

Situation: You don't have friends who understand your weight-loss struggle.

Solution: Branch out!!! Everyone won't be on the same page as you but that should not make or break you. When I started I had two friends well two sister's rather (LaTavian & Tarina) and we supported one another daily. Everyone within my circle of friends at the time did not have the same struggle but they still showed support when needed.

Situation: Loved ones offer food as comfort during times of stress.

Solution: Be clear about expressing your needs to others. Your weight-loss journey may take place through periods of job stress or relationship problems. Just the process of dieting can churn up feelings of insecurity, helplessness and frustration. How many times have your girlfriends came over and went into the freezer and grabbed that ice cream and plenty of spoons for everyone???

When loved ones reach out to help by cooking for you or suggesting that maybe going out to dinner may help, be prepared with a response about a better way to help. Suggest a walk or a light jog or if you have kids take them to the playground or park. 

Who said this new journey was going to be easy?? I'm speaking from experience because I am still walking this journey and I can say that over the years I have learned a lot. I love how my blog has motivated my family and friends and now everyone is eager to stay on track. God is soooooo GOOD!!!!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Being Consistent

It's common for many of us to eat healthy during the week only to go a little nuts on the weekend. This has been my issue for some time now and I think I have developed enough discipline so it doesn't affect me as much. Does that mean you can't ever enjoy your favorite foods? Of course  not. Building your indulgence into your diet and planning for them allows you to enjoy the things you love without completely blowing your diet.

Being consistent doesn't mean you have to robotically follow the same diet day after day. Here is what I do and it helps me to remain on track.

* Plan a cheat meal rather than a cheat day. Giving yourself an entire day to eat what you want can lead to OVERINDULGENCE that might show on your on your waistline. Instead, plan on having something you enjoy once a week. Have a pizza night or go out for burgers. Enjoy yourself and stay on track for the rest of the day.

Now I have done this and it helps me to still be able to enjoy my favorite meal without over eating through the whole day!!

* Work treats into your diet. Some people find having a small indulgence each day, like a piece of chocolate or a handful of chips, keeps them satisfied and allows them to choose healthy options the rest of the time.

* Have a plan of attack. The single most important thing you do when eating healthy is being prepared. That means having healthy foods around so you're not tempted to run out for fast food. This is why I have my SNACK BAGS with me at all times.

* Keep things balanced. Watching your calories and eating healthy is important, but so is enjoying life and not obsessing about everything we eat. We all have to find the right balance. 

* Don't give up. There will come a day when you eat too much cake or have the one extra piece of chicken you shouldn't have. We all overindulge at times but many of us use that as an excuse to quit and go back to old, unhealthy behaviors. One mistake isn't the end of the world and, even if you've really fallen off the wagon, you can always get right back on track by simply making the decision to not give up.

Remember this doesn't happen over night. You will have your moments when you fall off track and yes I have plenty of times because I am human. But you know what, I just dusted myself off and got back on track and started over. I knew I had a goal to reach and without support from my family and believing in myself I wouldn't have made it.


Cooking Tips to Cut Fat and Cut Calories

This is something new that I am working on and I wanted to share a few details with my readers. If you're like me then you want to cut fat and cut calories from your diet, your best bet is to cook at home. By preparing your own foods, you control the type of ingredients in your food and the portion sizes of each meal. 

#1 Stock your kitchen with good cooking tools.

* Non-stick pans. One of the best weight-loss tips is to prepare recipes with non-stick pans. Much of the fat used in the preparation of meals serves to prevent sticking during the cooking process. By using non-stick pans, you can add a small amount of olive oil or other healthy fat to complement the taste of your food. Now I was raised by old-school parents meaning my mother used her black cast iron frying pans along with her can of grease she kept on the back of the stove. For me switching over to non-stick pans wasn't easy but I'm glad that I made the switch.

* Single-serving containers. One of the most important weight-loss tips is to control portion size. (see folks how portion sizes play a huge role in the way we eat!!!) Make your healthy-cooking efforts pay off throughout the week. Divide a large pt of food into reasonable portions neatly packaged in a single-serving containers. The mini-meals you create will be easy to access when you're hurry and are much healthier for you. They are also more likely to be lower in calories and lower in sodium than the single-serving meals that you purchase in the freezer section of the grocery store.

*** IKEA has some of the best single serving containers that are inexpensive however Walmart and Target have them as well. I will post some photos of the containers that I have to give you all an idea of what to look for. 

# Cut calories with basic substitutions.

* Chicken stock. I LOVE THIS!!!!! I use it all the time and trust me when I tell you it works wonders. Chicken stock is a great substitute for oil, cream or butter. Stock helps keep food moist and prevents food from sticking. For example, when preparing sauteed vegetables use chicken stock instead of olive oil or butter to add flavor. Using chicken stock will cut calories and fat.

* White beans. Another one of my favorites that I just started to use. Creamy soup recipes often call for cream or whole milk to achieve the thick texture. But pureed white beans can do the same thing without adding significant calories. Try this the next time you prepare your favorite cream soup at the end of the cooking process, when the cream is added, take one can of white beans and puree the beans using a food processor or blender. Add small amounts of the puree to your soup until it meets the consistency you desire. This healthy cooking tip will help cut fat and calories while adding protein to your soup.

It may seem like a lot of work to practice healthy cooking at home. But these weight loss tips will help you cut fat and calories from each of your meals. As you get used to these tips for cooking, you'll learn to save time, you'll feel better about the food you eat and you'll find greater success on your weight loss program.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Portion vs. Serving

Do you know the difference between serving size and portion size? If you are trying to lose weight, improve your eating habits, or change the way your body looks you need to understand how portions and servings are different. Confusing them could ruin your diet. Let me be the first to say that I was confused as to what was the correct portion or serving size that I needed to have when I first started. It took a lot of trial and errors to get this correct.

What is a serving?

Serving size is the amount of any single food that you should eat when you sit down at mealtime. The easiest way of figuring out the serving size of your food is to check the Nutrition Facts Label. 

What is a Portion?

A portion size is the amount of food that you actually consume at a mealtime or at a snack time. For example, let's say you snack on Smart Popcorn low-calorie. A serving size, according to the Nutrition Facts label is 7.5 cups. But there are two servings in each full size bag. But there are two servings in each full size bag. So if you eat the whole bag, your portion size was 15 cups. Which means you just over ate!!!!

Keep in mind that portion size is the key when you record your food intake (if you keep a food journal). When you record a food that you've eaten, it's easy to write down what you ate without paying attention to serving size and portion size. 

Let's say you eat Cheerios in the morning for breakfast. If you fill a large bowl, you are probably eating more than one serving, which is one cup. And often, cereal eaters (like myself) refill the bowl, which only adds to the portion size. 

This is what I HIGHLY SUGGEST you invest in some measuring cups!! You can't go wrong and it teaches you to watch what you are consuming so you will get the results you were looking for at the end.


Geez...It's Monday Already?

Happy Monday....or should I re-phrase that and say "what happened to the weekend?" If you're like me some people need coffee in the morning to start the day, especially a Monday. Do you think about the number of calories you consume when you order your morning coffee drink? If you are trying to lose weight, you probably should. Some popular drinks from Starbucks and other popular spots (7-11 or Dunkin Donuts) contain up to 700 calories. If you add a breakfast sandwich along with hash browns, you could easily consume an entire day's calories before you start your morning.

Here are some Low-Calorie Coffee Drinks (under 100 calories) 

* Tall Skinny Latte (100 calories, 0 grams fat, 15 grams of carbs)
* Skinny Cappuccino (60 calories, 0 grams, 9 grams carbs) The great thing about cappuccino is the foam. The light fluffy top of this drink makes you feel like you're drinking something more decadent and fattening.
* Iced Skinny Flavored Latte (60 calories, 0 grams, 9 grams carbs) Add your favorite sugar0free flavor syrup. Try vanilla, hazelnut, or almond.
* Brewed Coffee (Brewed coffee and espresso contain essentially no calories)

If you already have a coffee drink that you love, use these tips to lower the fat and calorie count of the drink. 

* Skip the whipped cream. Don't even bother adding the whipped cream It melts into the coffee anyway and you can barely taste it.

* Go nonfat. Always start your coffee drink order by stating you want nonfat milk. Some menu boards may advertise that a drink is low-calorie but the barista may use 2% milk, which has a higher fat and calorie content.

* Say yes to foam. If your drink is topped with foam, ask for extra foam. The foam takes up more space in the drink and you decrease the amount of milk used and the number of calories in the drink.

* Add ice (or extra ice). Any drink with ice will have less calories than its hot alternative because the ice has no calories. For a drink that is already iced, ask for extra ice and you'll get a drink that is less milky, cooler and more refreshing.

* Use sugar-free syrups. Flavor syrups are popular additions to coffee drinks, but they are almost pure sugar. Opt for the sugar-free version to cut calories.

* Smaller is better. By the time you get to the coffee counter in the morning, you might order the largest size available out of habit, exhaustion or desperation. For some of us, the need for a coffee fix in the morning is substantial. You might be surprised to find out that you need less caffeine than you think.

Now listen carefully, you don't have to give up the trip to Starbucks just because you're on a diet. If you love your morning java fix, keep it on the morning menu. But learn to order low-calorie coffee drinks instead. 


Friday, February 15, 2013

Get Motivated to Lose Weight

Now let me share something with you all, becoming discipline to workout takes time and will not happen overnight. There are some days I feel like skipping the gym but I think back to how I used to look and that is something I vowed to myself that I would not do again. This was explained to me by a close friend who was able to share some light on ways to get me motivated.

There are two kinds of motivation (this was new to me) extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is the inspiration that comes from an external source, outside of you. For example, if your doctor tells you that you need to lose weight, you maybe externally motivated to go on a diet out of fear of poor health. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, comes from within. If you exercise because of the sense of accomplishment you achieve at the end of the workout your source of motivation is intrinsic. So in other words, if you choose a healthy snack because it makes you feel better about yourself, you are internally motivated. Make sense??

People often begin an exercise or weight loss program for external reasons: their clothes don't fit, their doctor has told them they need to lose weight, family and friends have put pressure on them to slim down. Extrinsic motivation can also be helpful when you need a gentle nudge to achieve short-term goals. For example, you might know that exercise is good for you, you may even know that you'll feel better after you complete a workout, but on some days you might still struggle to get to the gym. On those days, promise yourself a healthy reward. ( I do this all the time and it works!!) 

A few pointers for internal motivation:

* Set short-term goals. Set yourself up for success by setting very short-term achievable goals. Your long-term goal might be to lose 30 pounds, but a good short-term goal might be to eat a lean healthy breakfast each day during the week. If a weekly goal seems too broad, set a goal for just one day to start out with. 

* Keep a journal. Write out each goal in a journal. At the end of the day, comment on the day's success. Keep in mind that just taking the time to write in your journal is healthy and an accomplishment in itself. 

* Acknowledge your success. Take time to review your successes and give yourself credit.

Remember as you move through the process of fostering internal motivation, you'll find that your confidence in y our own abilities will increase.When you acknowledge the success of small accomplishments, it becomes easier to believe that larger goals are attainable. You begin to believe in yourself and in your ability to change your health by changing your weight.