With Thanksgiving just a few days away it's time to share some realistic tips to keep you on track. There is nothing wrong with eating on Thanksgiving, even over-eating is allowed, but you can go complete off the deep end. I am making November 27th a cheat day, the goal is to eat very clean the rest of the week and let loose, like a 2 dollar whore, on Thursday. 

All the tips might not be for you, I'm hoping at least one of them will help you cut a few unneeded and unwanted calories on the bug day.

Did you know the average American consumes over 4500 calories on Thanksgiving?

Slimming Turkey Day Tips


Avoid the gravy not the mash
Gravy is pretty much liquid calories, try to go easy on the gravy 

Fill your plate with salad and vegetables first
I usually have 2nds and even 3rds on the big day, make sure to fill your plate with green stuff on your first round, your body will thank you later

Drink 2 cups of water before the festive fest
Drinking water before any meal is a great habit to adopt 


Eat until your full not until you can't move
It's easy to over-eat  stay mindful of how full you are, take breaks instead of shoveling it in fast 

Wear something body conscious, sweats make it easy to expand
Usually everybody wants to wear sweats and oversized clothes on an official fest day, but opting for skinny jeans and a body conscious sweater will remind you of your health goals 

Pick 1 favorite calorie abundant dish and enjoy it
No explanation needed

Skip what you don't want or need 
I don't eat meat so skipping turkey and ham will be simple for me. I love potatoes, I will not be skipping them

Don't let family pressure get you off track
I am the smallest in my family and whenever I eat around them I see them eyeing my plate and usually get a few comments. It used to bother me, but not anymore, I could care less about there opinion, I'm the one that has to squeeze into my size 8s

Workout before the big dinner
To me there is nothing more rewarding than exercising on big holidays, especially big holidays that require you to eat, eat and over eat. I'm going to attend a bikram yoga class first thing in the morning. I won't feel as guilty about over indulging as long as I get a good sweat in 

Workout the day after Thanksgiving 
Skip the early Black Friday shopping, hit the gym instead

Don't beat yourself up  
Even if you go buck wild don't beat yourself up. It's ok to loose yourself on Thanksgiving 

Skip the skin
I cannot and woulf not do this one, the skin is the best part of the meat to me, but 1 ounce of skin contains up to 80 calories. Good luck with this one 

Watch your portions
I'll be posting a portion cheat sheet trmw

Avoid or limit your bread intake
Bread bloats me and makes me feel full, go easy on the bread and stock up on your favorites 

Avoid pie crust 
Pie crust is full of butter, shorting, and flour, eat the pie and skip most of the crust 

That's it today folks
Peace & Love,
Mary







Challenge Monday Tuesday

Fitness Challenge
Complete my Quick fix workout everyday this week

Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you to complete my Quick Fix Workout everyday this week 4 sets, 12 reps of each exercises

Why Why Why
  • These particular exercises target your entire body while raising your heart rate and challenging your endurance
  • Squats tone the entire lower body and abdominals while lifting your butt and toning your quads
  • Lunges tone lower body, challenges balance and is a functional exercise 
  • Reverse crunches target your abdominals, especially your transverse abdominals which keeps your stomach flat
Materials
Just yourself

Directions




My Take
It's officially the holiday season and you're going to be seeing friends & family that you haven't seen in a while. These basic exercises give you a lot of bang for your buck. Complete this simple routine everyday this week, if you're up for a bigger challenge do the routine twice a day. You should see results sooner rather than later. 

Nutrition Challenge


Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you to drink at least one mug of green tea everyday this week

Why Why Why
  • Green tea is loaded with vital nutrients, minerals and antioxidants 
  • Green tea improves brain function & lowers risk of certain cancer 
  • Green tea boosts metabolic rate 
  • Caffeine can improve physical performance by mobilizing fatty acids the turning them into energy 
  • Green tea can be used as an appetite suppressor 
Material
  • Green tea
  • Hot water
  • A big mug
  • Depending on your preference natural sweetener, lemon and/or milk 
Directions
Drink at least one mug of green tea a day 

My Take
I used green tea to spark my weight loss journey, and with the holiday season coming up I going to pull out all my trick to ensure I stay in shape. 

Self Improvement Challenge


Challenge Synopsis
Repeat this positive affirmation everyday this week, while looking in the mirror 

Why Why Why
  • Studies have proven people who constantly entertain themselves with positive words and thoughts rather than negative words and thoughts are happier and more satisfied with their lives
  • Experts claim positive affirmations can have positive effect on the subconscious 
Materials
A mirror

Directions
Everyday this week look in the mirror stare deep into your eyes and repeat:

I am kind, I am loving, I am happy, I am beautiful

Try to do this a few times a day, especially first thing in the morning and last thing before bed

My Take
I am a firm believer in positive affirmations. I use them on a daily bases and I've improved my self-esteem and self-worth. I hope this affirmation can do the same for all of you.

That's all today folks,
Peace & Love,
Mary

Hi Friends

This birthday was the best birthday ever. My entire family came to my house, I prepared a delicious healthy meal and we hung out to the wee hours of the morning. I've been running my Mom and Dad around all weekend. I put them on a plane late Sunday night and my sister flew out early Monday morning now all I want to do is rest. 



Challenge Monday is moving to challenge Tuesday this week, I hope you guys understand, I've been too busy to even think about challenges. 

I hope everyone is getting ready for Thanksgiving. I'll be sharing some holiday healthy tips to make sure you don't get too off track during the holiday season. 

That's all today folks!
Peace & Love,
Mary 
Hi friends!

I'm getting everything together for my birthday weekend and I'm slightly stressed out, so this post is going to be short and sweet. 

I had another great day today...great day. I went to my Bikram yoga studio after being on vacation and almost passed out during my 90 minute class. I had to lay down for 3-4 postures which I've never done before. I also had to talk myself into staying in the room which is not like me at all. If you didn't already know bikram Yoga is taught in a 109 degree room with 20% humidity. Today the room felt like it was 120 degrees with 30% humidity, I got light headed, dizzy and a little sick to my stomach. I'm so proud of myself for staying in the room, I wanted to flee after the first pose, but I quieted my mind, visualized my happy place and got in a serious sweaty workout. 

I suffered through a little pain only to spend the rest of the day pampering myself. I got a triple oxygen facial at Bliss Spa. This facial has been my birthday ritual for the last 2 years and I'm hoping to keep it going. I love this facial, it takes years off my skin by injecting oxygen into my pores.  

Check it out and tell me what you think...



Keeping with my low-carb no carb at night nutrition challenge I have a simple and delicious recipe for you guys to try... Tonight!

I've shared cauliflower rice, cauliflower fried rice, cauliflower pizza crust so it only makes sense that I post cauliflower mash aka cauliflower mash potatoes.

Yes, you read that right... Cauliflower mash! My boyfriends Mother shared this recipe with me last week in NY and since I'm a real potato lover I figured I had to give it a shot. 

Of course they don't taste exactly like mash potatoes but they did satisfied my starchy cravings and it's one of the easiest recipes I've ever prepared. Easy & delicious sound like the perfect 'Evolve With Mary' recipe. 

Let's dive in...


1 medium head of cauliflower
2-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
Salt & Pepper to taste


Steam or boiled cauliflower until soft, about 8-10 minutes 


Remove cauliflower from water and roughly chop 
Place cauliflower in blender or food processor start with  2 tbsp extra curtain olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Pulse mixture until smooth
Add more olive oil if needed

Eat immediately

That's all I have for you today folks!
Peace & Love,
Mary  
Hi Friends,
My Sister is here... My sister is here.... I'm so excited my sister is here.



We staid up to 4am last night but I'm still up bright and early ready to attack the day. I'm going to let her sleep-in then take her to our local breakfast spot where they highlight crispy deep fried French toast, fluffy scrambled eggs, and XXL omelets. After breakfast we can travel into the city for a day of pampering, nails, massages, and maybe even a facial. I'm hoping to get some shopping done and do a little sight seeing.

Today I'm featuring a sexy no-carb pasta packed with flavor. A few months ago my boyfriends Mother told me to purchase the 
Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer/Cutter  I found it at Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99, and it's been one of the best purchases I've made in a while. 
You also need to run out and purchase this life changing kitchen gadget... ASAP

The 5 minute pasta sauce that packs a flavor punch. 

Dirty Girl No-Carb Pasta

Adapted from  www.thelondoner.me
Makes 2 servings

3 medium zucchinis
2-3 small anchovies (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/3 cup capers
1/3 pitted black & green olives
Chili flakes
2-1/2 cups smashed (canned) tomatoes 
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese


Heat pan over medium heat
Add 1-2 tsp olive oil, coat bottom of pan 
Add garlic and anchovies to heated pan 
Within 3-4 minutes anchovies will start to disintegrate and garlic will soften
Add chili flakes 


Add olives and capers to pan 
Stir mixture and allow to combine for 2-3 minutes 
Add tomatoes and allow to cook constantly occasionally for 5-6 minutes 
Put aside and allow to cool 


Using a your new Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer/Cutter to create zucchini pasta/ribbons 
Toss zuchinni well in warm pasta sauce 


Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
Consume immediately 

That's all today
Peace & Love,
Mary
Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer/Cutter
Wow! The last 10 days have been a whirlwind for me. We were in New Orleans then made our way to New York, I ate everything in sight and slacked off on my workout routine. Surprisingly I didn't beat myself up for not staying on track, instead I embraced the much needed calorie counting break. I only made it to 2 bikram yoga classes, one in New Orleans and one in Manhattan, both were awesome, intense, and needed. I enjoyed the New Orleans studio the most, the teacher was awesome and the class flowed much faster then almost any class I've ever attended, plus it didn't seem as hot as my home studio. 

This morning I woke up and decided to hit the gym for some much needed cardio. I plan on attacking the stairmaster, spin bike, row machine, and elliptical with vengeance. The goal is to burn 1000 calories, it might take me 2 hours but that's ok, I need to make up for that excessive eating I did last week. 

My sister is coming in town today. I can't wait to spend some time with her hanging out, laughing, exploring our old stomping grounds, it's going to be great. I plan on spoiling her with mani and pedi's, facials, and massages. I can't wait to see her!!!

My 32 birthday is on Friday!! I can't believe I'm actually turning 32 and I'm excited about it. I look the best I've ever looked, I'm finally confident and comfortable on my skin. It took a long time to get here. I have a loving boyfriend that will do anything to make me smile. My family is in good healthy, I don't have many friends but I know the right ones will come around soon. Everything is falling into place. My relationship with my Mother has gotten better, my relationship with my Father is stronger then ever. My boyfriends mother and I are bonding which warms my heart. This blog is growing everyday, I am finally able to accept my faults and not torture myself because of them. 

I am Mary here me roar!! 

Enjoy the NY vacation pics

Standing in front of a "No Standing" sign with the Freedom Tower behind me


West Broadway & Canal


My kind of graffiti


Bikram Yoga Soho... Kicked my booty


Got my nails done at Akiko 
They have the coolest nail art I've ever seen 


Vegan Ramen at Momofuko

That's all I have for you guy today
Peace & Love,
Mary

Fitness Challenge
Kick it... Kick it real good 

Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you to complete front and side kicks 20 reps 4 sets

Why Why Why
  • Kicks tones legs and abdominals
  • This exercise can relives stress
Materials 
  • Just yourself & maybe an awesome playlist 
Directions



Front Kicks
4 sets, 20 reps each leg

Start in a fighting stance hands in fists near chin, palms facing each other protecting face

With knees slightly bent shift weight onto left leg

Lift right knee to the side waist height and kick lower leg to the right  as high as comfortable 

Keep standing leg slightly bent 

*low kicks are a great place to start with this exercise 

*focus on activating your abdominals with every kick

*always look in the direction you are kicking 

Side Kicks
4 sets, 20 reps each leg 

Start in a fighting stance hands in fists near chin, palms facing each other protecting face

With knees slightly bent shift weight onto left leg

Lift right knee to waist height and kick lower let straight out in front of you as high as comfortable 

Keep standing leg slightly bent 

*low kicks are a great place to start with this exercise 

*focus on activating your abdominals with every kick

*always look in the direction you are kicking 

My Take
This exercise seems easy but the more rep you complete the harder it gets. I have a hard time keeping my legs toned, kicks help keep them under control and I can do them anywhere.

Nutrition Challenge


Challenge Synopsis
Cut out or decrease your carb intake at night for the next 7 days 

Why Why Why
  • I do not recommend cutting all carbs out of your diet, carbs are a very important part of a balance diet, they provide energy and manage glucose levels 
  • We usually eat bigger meals at night so cutting back on your carbohydrate intake will force you to consume more vegetables and protein 
Materials
Lots of vegetables to replace your nightly servings of carbohydrates 

Directions
  • Replace carbs with and extra serving of vegetables 
  • Try a carb substitute like cauliflower fried rice, zucchini fries, squash pasta...
  • I'll be featuring no carb side dishes this week 
My Take
I cut carbs out of our diet about 4 months ago and I can really see a difference. I was traveling the last 10 days and ate carbs all day everyday.  I didn't gain any weight but I'm not as toned as I usually am. This week I'm jumping back onto the no carb at night wagon hope you guys join me.

Self Improvement Challenge


Challenge Synopsis
Write down 5 things your happy about everyday this week

Why Why Why
  • This challenge will help remind you to be grateful and thankful everyday 
  • By writing it down you are more likely to remember 
  • Everyone gets a little down sometimes, this challenge should add a little sunshine to your day
  • The holiday day season is upon us, the perfect time to reflect on life 
Materials 
  • Pen & Paper 
  • or Typing App on phone 
Directions
Everyday this week take a few minutes out to jot down 5 reasons why you are happy

Keep your list and share it / post it on your social media sites

My Take
Thanksgiving is coming up, this is the perfect challenge to remind you to be thankful for everything that you have. 

That's all today folks
Peace & Love, 
Mary 









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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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