Hi Friends,
I have a pounding headache from not eating enough and sitting in 3 hours of bumper to bumper traffic but that's not going to stop this post. 
Today I attended a tea at the Heritage Home in San Jose where they provide a long-term compassionate ministry to homeless, poor and abandoned women who are pregnant and have no where else to turn but the streets. We met with 6 young women that are pregnant or recently gave birth. The experience was life changing. It was inspiring to know these places actually exist. Everybody has a story some of the stories shared broke my heart, from drug abuse to spousal abuse to losing their children, to being homeless, these women were brave enough to share their struggles with us. 

Before I go any further I have to mention who was also at this event. A few of the WWE Divas were there!! 3  beautiful strong and intimidating young ladies also attended this tea. It was pretty awesome to meet these wrestling pros let their guard down, share their own personal stories and even shed a few tears. Since my ultimate goal is to become a motivational speaker, listening to these women talk I knew I had to share my own journey and impart some of my life learned words of wisdom. When it was my turn I told them who I am, where I've been and where I'm headed. When i was done with my speech/introduction the room erupted with applause. I was so surprised I asked everyone to stop clapping. The all said they felt inspired and ready to take on the world which is exactly what I wanted. Some asked when my book was coming out and all I could do was blush. It warmed my heart to know I touched these women and that I'm on the right track with my mission in life. 

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Me and the Divas! 

Next month I start my Coaching certification, it's going to take me a year to earn this cert and I'm really excited about learning these techniques and putting them to good use. 

After the formal stuff I chatted up the ladies and the divas, Nattie really stood out to me. She is beautiful, strong, sincere, real and has a rocking body. She even posted a selfie of the two of us at the event on Instagram and twitter. 

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I am so happy to be apart of such an amazing event. Can't wait to do more.

Peace & Love,
Mary
Hi Friends
I'm keeping this post short and sweet which is fun for all parties involved. My schedule was all turned around because The boyfriend is sick. For the pass few days he's been coughing and tired, that has manifested itself into a full blown cold. No bikram yoga for me, no Easter egg demos, I spent the day cooking soup and tending to my man. My chicken noodle soup turned out so good I had to feature it today. Sadly I didn't take many pictures because I wasn't planing on sharing this recipe but it was too good to keep to myself. I made the recipe up so it's an Evolve With Mary Original, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

MARY'S CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

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1 cup whole wheat pasta 
1 medium zucchini, cut in small cubes
2 medium carrots - roughly chopped
1/2 cup small potatoes or cubed potatoes
3 stalks celery - roughly chopped 
1 pd organic chicken thighs - boneless, skinless
1 small leek - roughly chopped
1-1/2 tbsp chicken or beef bouillon powder
sea salt & pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder 
2 pinches of truffle salt (optional)

Heat large dutch oven on medium-medium high, add 1 tbsp olive oil 
Rinse and cut excess fat off chicken, pat dry, season well with salt and pepper 
Place chicken in heated dutch oven
Cook chicken 6-8 minutes on each side, chicken should be crispy and well done 
Remove chicken from pan 
Add leeks and cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent 
Make sure to scrape sides of dutch oven for all the stuck on chicken bits, that's flavor baby!
Add carrots, celery, zucchini to leeks and cook for 5 more minutes 
Add 3 cups water to vegetables, chicken or beef bouillon powder, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste 
Bring mixture to a boil
Shred chicken and add to soup
Add potatoes and cook with lid on for 15 minutes 
Remove lid and add pasta to soup, cook for another 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente
Devour right away!
Peace & Love, 
Mary 






Hi Friends,
I had a nice and relaxing weekend, now I'm ready to dig-in and have a productive week. I actually made it to my bikram yoga class this morning, and plan on going tomorrow as well. My body's pretty tight and wasn't very receptive to todays session hopefully tomorrow will be better. Everyday isn't going to be my best day but that doesn't mean I will ever stop trying.
 
This weekend we purchased a Nespresso and I already love it. I'm
not a huge coffee drinker but there's nothing better than this high-tech looking machine and the cute little capsules on my counter. It's a red kitchen aid that matches my red kitchen aid mixer, the only thing missing is my Vitamix Blender, my boyfriends sister-in-law gifted me one for Christmas but it's stuck in Ohio. I'm hoping to get it after easter, fingers crossed.
 

SUMMER BODY UPDATE

I've been eating very clean these past few weeks and I can already see the difference. Stuffing my face with soft-boiled eggs, raw fruits and vegetables, lots of green tea, oatmeal, fish for protein and a little popcorn and dark chocolate at night to curb my cravings. I added kettle bells to my workout which always rips me out for the summer. I'm looking forward to my summer body, I actually can't wait.
My workout schedule for the next few months is:
Bikram yoga 3-5 days a week
Gym cardio 2-3 days a week
Daily 100s 5-6 days a week
Kettle bells 3-4 days a week
Rest 1-2 days a week
 
So far, so good but that can change with the wind. I've been putting a lot of time in at the gym which got boring fast, so I'm switching it up. I tend to workout better at home with a few gym sessions sprinkled in. I noticed when I'm my thinnest I'm usually always hungry which is why I tend to yo-yo a bit throughout the year. The goal is to stay slim and trim instead of throwing caution to the wind but sometimes a girl gets hungry. Oh well, it is what it is, at least I know what I'm doing wrong.
 
I made this niffty cheat sheet on the benefits of eating an apple a day, which was this weeks nutrition challenge. I love making these fact sheets, I get to use my creativity while teaching myself about the benefits of certain foods. What's better than that?

benefits-of-apples
 
I've been doing a lot of Easter crafts which I will share with all of you later on this week and next week. I love crafting and most of my crafts are super cheap and easy enough for everyone to do them.
 
Peace & Love,
Mary

FITNESS CHALLENGE

SUPER PLANKS 

WHY WHY WHY 

  • These reved up planks provide a full body workout with one exercise
  • Planks are serious core strengtheners, targeting your entire core in one simple sustained movement, or should I say non-movement
  • Planks can tone your mid-section, reduce back pain, increase flexibility, improve balance as well as improve your balance and posture
  • These Super-planks provide a full body workout with one exercise

MATERIALS 

Just yourself

DIRECTIONS



MY TAKE

I found this exercise a few weeks ago and I’m in love with it. I’ve added 25 reps to my regular workout and I’m panting and sweating by rep 10, I have to make myself finish each set. You will hate me and love me for this one, remember summer is coming sooner rather than later and bikinis don’t lie. 

NUTRITION CHALLENGE

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WHY WHY WHY

  • Benefits of eating apple:
    • Healthier teeth
    • Avoid Alzheimers
    • Protects against Parkinson’s disease
    • Helps reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer
    • Decrease risk of diabetes
    • Reduces cholesterol
    • Prevents gallstones
    • Helps with diarrhea and constipation
    • Can help with weight loss
    • Boost immune system
    • Prevents cataracts
    • Natural detoxifier

MATERIALS

Apples, Apples and more apples

DIRECTION

Eat at least one apple a day everyday this week

MY TAKE

I enjoy a sweet, juicy, crisp apple multiple times a day. I haven’t always enjoyed apples, there was a time in my life that I actually hated them and eating them were out of the question. I’m so happy that time of my life is over and I hope all of you decide to jump on the apple train with me this week.

SELF-IMPROVEMENT CHALLENGE 

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WHY WHY WHY

  • There are numerous benefits associated with house plants
    • Plants produce oxygen and provide a Zen feelings with an environment
    • Reduce stress
    • Fight colds
    • Remove airborne contaminants
    • Improve mood 
    • Improve mental health
    • Decrease blood pressure
    • Prevent allergies

MATERIALS

  • a house plant
  • you can purchase them everywhere now-a-days, grocery stores, whole foods, trader joes, ikea (my favorite place to buy my plants), Home Depot, Target and online...
  • Opt for leafy green plants, avoid flowers 

DIRECTIONS

  • You have 7 days to buy a hose plant, name it and water it
  • If you don’t have time to water checkout these cool inventions 

MY TAKE

I’m all about my house plants. I name them, talk to them, love them and communicate with them, they are my besties. I know that may sound strange to all of you but my plants have become my friends. This challenge sounds a little strange but believe me house plants can lift your spirits, improve your health and give you something to look for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. As long as you don’t kill them. 

Peace & Love, 
Mary 


Hi friends,
I'm writing this post from my deck, it's a whopping 80 degrees in Sausalito and I'm soaking up some serious sun. We don't have any patio furniture, so I'm doing it beach style with an over sized towel, sun block, and a big mug of iced green tea. I did a lot of research on green tea last night which convinced me to start chugging it like water. Anything with so many health benefits needs to make regular appearances in my diet.
 
I made this handy benefits of drinking green tea poster because I love you all!
 
Drink green tea

I'm spending the rest of the day doing some demos on camera! The time has come to put some serious love into my youtube channel. My ultimate goal is to become a motivational speaker, recording myself will benefit me greatly. I'm actually excited about it. Can't wait to share some videos with you.
 
Enjoy your weekend!
 
Peace & Love,
Mary
Hi Friends,
I made it back to San Francisco safely,  I'm so happy to be home. We got delayed in LA  where we found a restaurant called Lemonade - Seasonal Southern California Comfort Food (that's how they describe themselves on their website). Only in LAX could you find such fresh, healthy, and delicious food. Everything was organic, there were numerous creative flavorful vegan and meat choices. What more could I ask for after a week filled of fried food and alcohol.  
 
 
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Sadly I've had a bad cough for the last 2 weeks and it's not getting any better. I'm going to rest and recharge for the next few days.  
 
This weeks self-improvement challenge is to take 100 deep breaths before drifting off to never never land aka sleep. Time to talk about the benefits of breathing deep.

 

BREATHE DEEP 

huff
 
70% of toxins are released by deep breathing
When you are afraid, stressed or nervous breathing patterns change -  purposefully concentrating on breathing deeply you instantly feel relaxed
 Deep breathing relieves emotional distress while clearing out negative and confused feelings
 Breathing is the most important act we do everyday, it's so important it automatic
 
Humans cannot go 3 minutes without breathing
 
Scientific research proves breathing can be the secret to better health, peaceful energy and a productive mind
 
Our breath is linked to the autonomic nervous system
 
Daily breathing practices activates the parasympathetic nervous system that is associated with resting  and digesting which equals a more peaceful mind, body and soul
 
 

HOW TO BREATHE DEEP  

breathe
Slowly inhale through nose 
Expand stomach
Fill chest
Slowly Exhale 
Releasing toxins and negative energy 
 
Peace & Love,
Mary 
 
 
Hi Friends
Oh man, did I have a great time in New Orleans! The wedding was incredible. From an elegant ceremony held in on opulent museum to the second line parade dancing our way through the gritty streets of New Orleans. Everyone was dressed to the 9s in tuxes and long flattering gowns. The boyfriend cleans up REAL nice, he looked devilishly handsome in his 3 piece Navy Blue Tuxedo. I used Rent the Runway again, sadly I wasn’t blown away with my dress this time around. I rented 2 dresses, both royal blue, one had 2 splits and one was lacy. I wanted to wear the one with the splits, but the fabric had no give, and they didn’t cut it for a girl with serious hips like me. Good thing I had a backup. The bride was STUNNING in Vera Wang and the groom handsome as ever. I’m always honored when I’m invited as a guest to a wedding. Witnessing and sharing in someones love is freaking amazing. I’ll never forget the day Taft and Marisa got hitched. #classyandsassy
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The dress I wanted to wear, it was so tight 

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The dress I wore, I guess I look just as good
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On our way to the wedding acting like our silly selves
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Had to snap a selfie
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Bride and Groom leading the Second Line Parade

I took my time on Sunday and ate my way around the city. I had fried oysters, raw oysters, seafood gumbo, crawfish étouffée, tons of perfectly cooked fish, and my fair share of cornbread. Needless to say I am a very happy woman. I started almost every morning off with a bloody Mary which was a good base for all of my greasy meals and long nights. I did some shopping and found a vintage flight suit that actually says Top Gun on it! I figure I can wear it around the house and on Halloween. It was only 20 bucks so even one wear would justify the cost. #cheatday

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Food Food Food Food Food Food Food Food Food
did I say Food?
 
Everyone other than my boyfriend and I seem to be concerned about our marriage plans. I realize we have been together for 5+ years, I realize  most women would be tearing their hair out waiting for a ring, I realize you shouldn’t give the milk away for free but I also realize I am my own person and I’m not ready to say I do to anyone other than my career at the present time. It is a little strange when people who meet after us are already starting their lives together and planing for families, to each their own. I have a lot of goals to accomplish and being a wife isn’t one of them. When I’m ready I’ll be ready. I know my other half isn’t ready and its a relief. I just don’t need that added pressure. Sure, I’m a woman, of course I would love a huge ring, my little heart flutters when I see babies, but none of that means I’m willing to compromise myself or jump into something I’m just not ready for. I know I want to be with my man for the rest of my life, with or without a ring, contract or huge expensive party. #noweddingforme
 
I promised some NOLA pics, here they are:
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Sunday night on Bourbon Street, there's nothing like it 
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Beads anyone?
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Blessings flowing
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Mr. Armstrong 

Last but not least I ran 2 miles. It may sound small but I’m not a runner, I get shooting pains in my knees when I do certain exercises, for years I figured running was out of the question. Before I die I would like to run a marathon and since I’m not getting any younger I need to start training my body to run. Surprisingly I loved it, i wasn’t panting for air, I didn’t feel like I needed to rest, granted I was running 15 minute miles but a girl has to start somewhere. The tough mudder is a total of 15 miles and I would like to run most of it. I can’t wait to start running outside this week. I need to find a mile tracker so I can start documenting my time, improvement and training. Does anyone have any beginner running tips to share? #runbabyrun
 
Ok that’s really it!
Peace & Love,
Mary
 

About

My name is Mary! I was obese for most of my life, around 7 years ago I decided to take control of my life and successfully lost over 150 pounds. But that's just the beginning of my journey. Join me as I evolve into the person I was born to become. I love to cook, craft, read, and make people smile. I'm happy you've stumbled on by. Let’s Evolve Together.

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