Happy Friday!
I’m up in the air, literally… :) I figured we should finish this week off by listing the some of the worlds healthiest spices. This weeks nutrition challenge was a fun one, I utilized turmeric, sage, coriander, fresh cilantro and parsley in most of my meals. I added cinnamon to my green smoothies, and made a fresh tea out of peppermint and ginger. I’m going to keep my spice heavy diet going for as long as possible. Ancient societies have been utilizing herbs for medical treatments for centuries and they have less chronic pain and illness than western society. My goal is to live a long, healthy, flavorful life and herbs are going to help me do just that.
 

SAGE

sage
  • Preserves and improves memory
  • Soothes sore throat
  • Improves some symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease
  • Effective pain-reliever
  • Has anti-bacterial properties
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Aids with stress
  • Can clean acne and other skin issues
 

ROSEMARY

rosemary
  • Enhances mental focus and concentration
  • Fights food borne bacteria
  • Improves memory
  • Rich source of antioxidants
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Protects against muscular degeneration
  • Improves digestion

TURMERIC

tumeric
  • Relieves common cold symptoms
  • Relieves respiratory issues
  • Aids in arthritis pain
  • Potential cancer treatment, particularly colon, prostate, and breast cancer
  • Inhibits tumor cell growth
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Manages heart disease

CHILE PEPPER

red pepper


  • Boosts metabolism
  • Trippers body’s natural cooling system
  • Revs up metabolism
  • Fat burner
  • Lowers risk of ulcers
  • Aids with heart disease

GINGER

ginger
  • Soothes upset-stomach
  • Rich in inflammation fighting compounds
  • Helps fight some cancers
  • Aids in muscle pain
  • Can relieves osteoarthritis pain in knees
  • Reduces nausea

CINNAMON

cinnamon
  • Boosts appetite
  • Relieves indigestion
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels
  • Lowers risk of heart disease
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Improves sensitivity to insulin

SAFFRON

saffron
  • Mood enhancer
  • Relieves PMS symptoms
  • Relieves depression symptoms
  • Aids in heart disease
  • Helps maintain healthy blood pressures
  • Enhances complexion

PARSLEY

parsley
  • Can inhibit breast cancer cell growth
  • Rich in vitamins
  • Strengthen immune system
  • Strengthen bones
  • Flushes extra fluid from body
  • Supports kidney function
  • Helps maintain healthy blood pressure
Peace & Love,
Mary
 
 
Hi Friends, 
I'm heading to Florida tomorrow!!! I had a few moments of sadness while packing, my bikinis aren't looking as hot as I want them to. Today was a bad body image day, oh well, I have those. I have to take the good with the bad and try to remember not to be so hard on myself. When I'm feeling down and over-weight I like to watch my workout videos. Seeing a video I made 7 days ago reminds me I'm not 300+ pounds anymore. My Fitness Challenges inspire me to keep moving forward and stay positive no matter how I feel. I think I'll be fighting my body image issues for a long time, but I'm up for the fight. I want all of you to know I'm not perfect, I have good days and bad, but regardless of what I'm feeling I will always exude confidence. Thank god for positive affirmations. 
After my own personal pep talk let's get on to this recipe. I don't eat meat but the boyfriend does and I don't want to make this blog a strictly plant-based one. Just because I don't eat meat doesn't mean all of you don't. I love this recipe, the roasted parsnips and red onions are sweet like candy.

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1 large parsnip - cut into 1-inch chunks 
1 large white turnips - cut into 1-inch chunks 
2 small red onions - cut into 1-inch wedges 
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar 
2 tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp dried thyme 
Sea salt and ground pepper 
2 tbsp fresh parsley - chopped 
4 chicken thighs - bone-in and skin-on
4 chicken legs - bone-in and skin-on 
1-2 tbsp honey 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees 
On large rimmed baking sheet toss parsnips, turnips, and onions with vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp thyme, sea salt and pepper to taste 
In small bowl combine parsley, 1/2 tsp thyme, sea salt and pepper to taste 
Carefully slide fingers under chicken skin to loosen 
Spread parsley mixture  under and on top of skin 
Push vegetables to edges of baking sheet, place chicken pieces in center and roast 30 minutes 
In a small bowl combine honey and 1 tbsp olive oil 
Remove baking sheet from oven, generously brush chicken with honey mixture 
Roast another 30 minutes or until thigh juice runs clean when meat is pierced Serve immediately
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Peace & Love, 
Mary  

 


Hi Friends,
All of my late nights are finally catching up with me. I purposely slept-in today and freaking loved it. I got my workout on, serious style, with 31 (yes I said 31 :)) minutes on the stair master then a 700 calorie, interval fat blasting cardio session on the AMT Precore. After the gym I headed to my favorite lunch restaurant and enjoy a perfectly grilled piece of black cod over mixed greens. It's been my lunch of choice for the past 6 months, but sadly I reached my fill of it today. Oh well, nothing lasts forever. I will have to find another healthy lunch option to enjoy.
I worked for a few hours, then treated myself to the best Thai massage I've ever had. The therapist took off my shirt and went to work pushing, pulling, cracking and massaging my entire body. I was in heaven for a full 90 minutes, I almost cried when I realized it was over. On the way out the owner informed me that my next massage will be free, WooHoo
I spent the rest of the night hanging out with the boyfriend, watching Sports Center and doing things to make each other laugh. I've been staying up super late the past few weeks and believe the blog is getting better and better for it, but I'm freaking exhausted. Good thing we are heading to Fort Lauderdale in a few days. We were supposed to go to Miami, but certain circumstances diverted the trip to Fort Lauderdale and I'm happy about it. I love Miami but it defiantly a 'scene', everyone is cool, in style, in shape and ready to party at the drop of a dime. Not that I don't love that sort of thing, but I really want to lay on the beach, work, study, and recharge, not worrying about the extra inch covering my mid-section or a strange guy approaching me on the beach.
I've been doing a lot of contemplating lately. I'm all about direction, identifying my goals and doing whatever it takes to reach them. Evolve with Mary has monopolized most of my time which was fine up until a few weeks ago. My ultimate goal is to become a Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. I've been studying for an advanced personal training certification that I have to pass as a prerequisites to obtain Wellness Coaching Certification. I realized this is not where my heart is, I really want to be a life coach, learn life coaching techniques and mix my newly found knowledge with my own story.
I'm going to continue to study for this personal training certification but opt out of the wellness coaching and go straight into my Life Coaching program. I've been putting it off because the Life Coaching program costs a lot more but it's really what I want.
What do you think?
What certification would you get?
Have you ever been to Florida?
Peace & Love, 
Mary
Hi Friends,
I had a wonderful weekend hanging out with my Mother. We went for a long hike, drank green smoothies, and had a crab feast. I got a little off track with my clean eating,  and broke  a few of my no bread after 2pm and late night snacking rules. Surprisingly I'm not beating myself up, I really hope that part of my life is over. I'm trying to find some levity and clarity with my diet. Less scrutiny about what I put into my mouth would make me a lot happier. Fingers crossed guys, fingers crossed.
I spent 4 hours last night creating the herb and spice poster I used for my Nutrition Challenge. It came out great but who knew it was going to take that long. Once I was 2 hours in I didn't want to give up but a smarter person might have. I'm all over herbs and spices this week and want to keep this subject fun and interesting. I ran across some amusing facts that I had to share with all of you.
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  1. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili, the worlds hottest chili pepper can burn its way through latex gloves - source
  2. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed basil would only grow if you screamed wild curses and shouted while sowing the seeds - source
  3. The Cinnamon Challenge is dangerous and can cause  lunge damage - source
  4. Turmeric (found in curry powder) has exceptional effects on Alzheimer's symptoms, it currently outperforms all known Alzheimer's drugs  - source
  5. Fenugreek promotes lactation in nursing mothers and makes your sweat and pee smell like maple syrup - source
  6. Most wasabi sold in the US is just horseradish with food coloring - source
  7. Before electricity there were Spice Clocks - a clock  that opened a different compartment of spices each hour so people walking at night could taste the time before going back to sleep - source
  8. Cilantro and Coriander Leaves are the same thing - source
All facts obtained here
Peace & Love,
Mary

FITNESS CHALLENGE

I challenge you to complete my very first HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout 5-6 days this week

WHY WHY WHY

  • HIIT - High intensity interval training - is an enhanced form of interval training where you alternate periods of short intense exercise with less intense recovery period for example: 50 seconds of intense workout and 10 seconds of rest 
  • These short workouts provide improved athletic capacity, conditioning, improved metabolism and improved fat burning
  • Studies prove that just 2 weeks of HIIT can substantially improve your overall heath
  • Summer bodies are created in the winter!

MATERIALS

  • Timer - CLICK HERE to download my favorite free interval app

DIRECTIONS

 MY FRIST HIIT WORKOUT

Complete 50 seconds reps of each exercise
rest for 10 seconds between each set
4 sets of each exercise
*for low impact versions of each exercise email at evolvewithmary@gmail.com

Frog Jumps - 50 seconds 
10 second rest
Mountain Climbers - 50 seconds 
10 second rest
Butt Kicks - 50 seconds
10 second rest
Up Downs - 50 seconds
10 second rest
High Knees - 50 seconds
10 second rest
Plank Reaches - 50 seconds
10 second rest
REPEAT 4 TIMES
SWEAT LIKE A PIG...LOOK LIKE A FOX

MY TAKE

I've spent the weekend at my Mother's so I wasn't able to complete my normal balls to the wall super sweaty workouts. I've heard of HIIT training for years but never had the desire to try it. I designed and completed my first workout Friday and it kicked my butt. I could hardly breathe, I wanted to stop after the first round but pushed myself to keep going. I think you guys will love and hate me for this one. #HIIT #sweatlikeadog #ithurtssogood

NUTRITION CHALLENGE

I CHALLENGE YOU TO ADD MORE HERBS AND SPICES TO YOUR DIET THIS WEEK

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WHY WHY WHY

  • Herbs and spices add flavor to food but that's only scratches the surface of their abilities
  • Certain herbs and spices, fresh and dried, can fight the common cold, boost your immune system, aid in weight loss, help with aches and pains, prevent and treat cancer and much much more
  • Ancient societies in Egypt, Greece, China, Roma and Sumeria have been utilizing plants for medical healing for centuries
  • The World Health Organization reports that 80% of the world population still depend on herbal medicine for at least a portion of their health care

MATERIALS

  • Lots of different herb and spices 

MY TAKE

I grew up in a family that believed in holistic healing. I wasn't allowed to take aspirin if I had a headache, I was told to drink more water or take a nap. Now that I'm older I really appreciate how I was raised and I constantly educated myself on what I should and shouldn't put into my body. This weeks challenge is a great one!

SELF IMPROVEMENT CHALLENGE

video

WRITE A "I LIKE THAT YOU ARE..." 

NOTE/TEXT/ EMAIL TO SOMEONE SPECIAL

 EVERYDAY THIS WEEK

WHY WHY WHY

  • Words carry enormous weight, often time more than we think
  • You can impact people for minutes, days, months and years with a few kind words
  • Everyone is fighting a battle that no one knows about, by reaching out and sending an encouraging word you can enrich and enhance someones life
  • Positive words build people up and can shape their subconscious
  • You can empower everyone around you with a few simple text, note, letter, or email

MATERIALS

  • Yourself
  • your contacts

DIRECTIONS

  • Everyday this week pick one person you know and send them  "I like that you are..."
  • Example: Hi Sis! I like that you are driven and dedicated to reaching your goals

MY TAKE

I've been saving this Self-Improvement Challenge for a rainy day and this week seemed like the perfect time to use it. I'm all about random acts of kindness, instead of blessing a stranger, reach out and make someones day that you already know. I can't wait to get started on this one. I might do a few a day just because I love making people smile. Spreading love makes my heart sing, it's why I was put on this earth. 
Peace & Love, Mary

 

Can you believe it's Friday already? I actually have some plans this weekend! I'm currently  in Vacaville, the town I grew up. It's about an hour from San Francisco, even though it took me two hours to drive here today, but that's another story. I spent last night eating sushi and catching up with my Mom. She's the best, she reminds me of me in many ways. I'm not one of those women that are terrified of turning into their Mother. I would be honored to be half the woman that she is.
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I'm catching up with a few girlfriends from high school. I'm a loner and never felt like I fit in with my high school friends. When I graduated and went off to college I cut ties with pretty much everybody. Sometimes I regret not staying in touch but I am who I am and I think they understand that about me. I'm hoping to get together with these awesome women 2 to 3 times a year and build some kind of friendship again. As I get older I realize real friends don't grow on trees so I better water these girls while I'm in town.
This weeks Self-Improvement Challenge was to create your own Positive Affirmations. I  did this exercise on Sunday and have been repeating my affirmations in the mirror a few times a day. As silly as it seems I can tell the difference in my attitude. I feel better about myself than usual, which is saying a lot. I wanted to share my affirmations with all of you.
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5 THINGS I LIKE ABOUT MYSELF:

  • I'm funny
  • I never take no for an answer
  • I'm comfortable in my skin
  • I'm a great communicator
  • I believe in myself and my ability
  • I want to change the world

LIST 5 OF YOUR STRENGTHS

  • I am strong
  • I am intelligent
  • I am beautiful
  • I am inspiring
  • I am powerful

LIST 5 THINGS THAT MAKE YOU SMILE 

  • Birds
  • Jokes
  • A good workout
  • Compliments
  • Any day my stomach is flat
Did you do this weeks Self-Improvement Challenge?
Do you believe in positive affirmations?
What are you doing this weekend?
Peace & Love,
Mary
Hi Friends,
You don't know where your going until you know where you've been. I usually don't participate in #throwbackthursdays I'm proud of my journey but it's still very personal to me. I enjoy inspiring people to reach for the stars and follow their dreams. That's what I did.
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One day I woke up over 300 pounds and was done with it all. Done with being fat, done with low self-esteem, done with procrastinating, done with hiding from the world. I am a very outgoing, friendly, active person but when i was fat i was the opposite of all the verbs I just used to describe myself. I was miserable in my own skin. I felt trapped with nowhere to turn, no one to talk to and no end in sight. I finally took control and slowly started exercising, eating right, reciting positive affirmations, and working on myself.
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Nothing came over night, results were few and far between for the first 4-5 months. I remember saying to myself, " I don't care if I lose weight or not! I'm  going to keep on sweating for the rest of my life no matter what." It seems like once I gave up on results and really came to terms with my healthy life style change everything started happening.
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Weight started falling off of me like candle wax, I was happy, upbeat, and didn't feel like hiding from the world any longer. I started taking bikram yoga classes, got a job at the nicest gym in SF and cut all the negativity out of my life. I got rid of the leaches that had been sucking the life out of me for years. I decided to be  celibate for a while because the next person I gave myself too had to earn me and deserve me.
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FYI - That guys is not my boyfriend... 
When I met my current boyfriend I gained 30 pounds of "happy" weight. I remember looking in the mirror horrified with myself. I couldn't believe I had done it again. I was depressed embarrassed and down right mad. My boyfriend never mentioned the weight, he never said a negative thing about me. He loves me no matter what.
It took 6 months to lose that "love" weight. Now I'm training to run crazy obstacle races and pushing my body to the limit. I'm vegan 2-3 days a week and the other days still refrain from chicken, beef and pork, I only eat seafood. One day soon I hope to stick with a vegan diet but I really love eggs and cheese so I'm not sure if I will ever be ready to give those 2 things up. So that's me. I feels good to share my story with all of you. I hope i can inspire someone to get fed up and take that first step. The first step is always the hardest. After the first step it's just like walking... One foot in front of the other.
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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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