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 









www.bodybuilding.com
www.prevention.com




It's a travel day!!!

Not much more to say other then that. Sadly, we left New Orleans at 11:30am, heading to New York for the next 4 days. Check out my travel hat, it keeps my head warm and makes me feel safe.



Since we arrive in NY at 3 I want to sneak in a quick workout and go on the hunt for some delicious and healthy Greek or mediterranean food. 

That's all today folks!
Peace & Love
Mary 

Hi friends,
Another wonderful day in New Orleans. I finally made it to Bikram yoga this morning, just like I said I would, and I feel so much better. 

I'm tackling all of my challenges this week, not that I don't always but I'm making a conscious effort to stay on track.

I had a salad for lunch and it was delicious. I did my planks this afternoon and boy do my abdominals hurt. I usually do hands on ground planks but I've been tackling the elbow planks instead. They are a little more challenging and I can actually feel my body getting stronger.

After this week I'm going to increase my plank hold time to 75 seconds, just to add a little boost to the workout and make it interesting.

The selfie challenge is actually cooler then I though it would be. I love taking pictures, I usually don't take pictures everyday, especially of myself. I took today's selfie on the balcony overlooks Royal Street. 



Tomorrow is a travel day, we are heading to NYC. I'll probably take my selfie in the airport. 


Gifts for the family


That's it today folks!
Peace & Love,
Mary 
Hi Friends,
Today was a special day for me. We had a loooong night last night on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, I've been here for the last 5 days and I don't think I ever want to leave. I've thrown all of my healthy eating habits out the window these pass few days and plan on getting back on track ASAP. I love indulging in local food when I travel, especially in New Orleans. The food can be very rich but that's half the fun of it.



I only got to exercise one day while I've been here. I did 2 hours on the elliptical and burned about 1000 calories. If I wake up in time I'm hoping to make it to a bikram yoga class tomorrow. I really need to sweat out all of the bad food I've put into my body. 

I didn't realize you are still allowed to smoke in establishments here and my hair and clothes were full of smoke when I woke up this morning. It's a small price to pay when enjoying the Big Easy.

Check out my new hat!! I picked it up on Magazine Street at the Funky Monkey. I freakin' love this thing!!! What do you think???


After our awesome shopping trip we changed and went to dinner at 
August a John Besh restaurant. It was super fancy with down home southern charm. The food was excellent, my favorite was the gnocchi and the field salad. They really celebrate the food at this establishment.

While enjoying our wonderful meal I noticed 
Kathy Bates was sitting a few tables away from me and instantly got overwhelmed. 

I had the pleasure of serving her about 8-9 years about when I was overweight and had giving up in life. She took the time to talk to me and told me I was wasting my time serving other people food. She told me I was beautiful and a star, that I had some serious potential and I could be anything I wanted to be. 

She sparked something in me that manifested into 100s of pounds in weight loss and me to actually follow my dreams. I knew I had to thank her, but didn't want to interrupt and intrude on her meal.

My waitress had the great idea of writing her a note and put one of Mrs. Bates drinks on my bill. I took my time to write a heart felt note that the waitstaff delivered to her at the end of her meal.

That's when the stars aligned and magic happened. The wonderful Kathy Bates came to my table and asked me if I wrote the note. I told her I did and she leaned in close asking me to further the explain our first meeting. I told her I served her and she told me I could so better, she sparked serious change in my life. I tried to hold back the tears but ended up crying in the middle of my story. She was touched and replied "
I was brave enough to say that!" in a thick Southern accent.
Then she said " I believe God put me on the earth to play roles" she also told me I was a stunningly beautiful woman. With 
tears in her eyes as we embraced and Mrs. Bates again walked out of my life. She rekindled that old spark, inspiring me to do everything in my power to reach my dreams. 

I was dining with my boyfriend and another couple, we were all in tears after the exchange.

I really can't say anything else about the situation, as I'm typing my eyes are filling with tears, happy tears. I've come a mighty long way and I'm still not there yet.

Thanks for evolving with me!

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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