Water For Weight Loss!

Water is essential for weight loss, among about a million other things we need to happen daily with our bodies!

H20… probably the most recognized chemical formula, more commonly known as water. Think of water as the highway that moves nutrients and waste between cells and organs. Without it, we would die within a few days. It is essential for sustaining life and overall health and does so much for the body… plus it can be your number one ally when it comes to dropping pounds (when used along side a healthy diet and consistent exercise)!

| 1. BOOST METABOLISM AND AID IN DIGESTION
Water is necessary for all chemical reactions in our body to take place, and that includes metabolizing (burning) fat. If you don’t drink enough water you will become slightly dehydrated. This slight change in hydration can wreak havoc on your body’s ability to metabolize anything and everything, thus slowing down your metabolism as a whole. Slow metabolism = not burning calories efficiently = not burning fat effectively. Not drinking enough water is also linked to constipation and digestive discomfort. Make everything easier when you drink more water!

| 2. REDUCE LIQUID CALORIE INTAKE
It can be hard to drink enough water every day if you’re not used to it- especially if you are one of the many people who loves their sweetened coffee, sodas and juices. When we drink our calories we tend to forget that we’re still consuming potential energy. Every thing we ingest is broken down into molecules and dispersed among the body to be used immediately and efficiently. If you drink a sugary juice while you’re sedentary, all of those sugars will eventually be turned into stored fat because the body doesn’t need that instant energy. Be mindful of everything you take in, and remember food and drinks are supposed to fuel us and make us feel good… not just provide an instant sugar high.

*An important note>:
While you ought to reduce liquid calories, that doesn’t mean reduce liquid! Just drink water instead of those other beverages! Get a reusable water bottle, fill it up and keep it on your desk or your person all day. That way you’re always reminded to sip some water! Aim to drink 2-3 full water bottles just in the 9-5 hours of the day (assuming the water bottles can hold roughly 32oz of water). Try drinking unsweetened herbal tea, or water infused with herbs and cucumber for a change of pace that won’t add inches to your waistline.

| 3. DETOX
The more water you drink, the more fluid runs through your kidneys. Our kidneys filter out toxins that need to be removed from the body through urine. The more you drink water, the easier and more effective your kidneys will become at excreting toxins. Also, drinking ample amounts of water helps to decrease mineral buildup in the kidneys… that build up can result in kidney stones which are NO FUN to get rid of. Help your kidneys, limit your salt and alcohol intake, and drink more water. You’ll feel so much better!

| 4. APPETITE SUPPRESSANT/CONTROL HUNGER CRAVINGS
Drinking water before you eat can help you to feel more full and in turn, eat less than normal… which is probably a good thing considering portion sized these days are WAY too big. This isn’t to be misconstrued as “drink water and don’t eat”, it’s about heling you to truly listen to what your body is asking for. Drinking a full glass of water 20-30 minutes before you eat can help you recognize how hungry you actually are. Our body has a funny way of telling us it’s thirsty- often times the craving for water is disguised as hunger or fatigue. So drink up, and then eat slowly. Let you body recognize the nutrients you’re feeding it before you eat more. Chances are, if you take your time and drink plenty of water, you’ll actually realize you only need about half of what you pile on to those big dinner plates.

| 5. ENERGY BOOSTSER
Feeling a little sluggish or tired? Drink some water! Water makes up roughly 70% of our bodies, and we can’t store it like camels. So, keeping a consistent flow of water coming in is essential for making sure our bodies have enough to stay on top of their game. You know what happens when you’re brimming with energy? You crush your workouts, you feel way more positive, and you’re less likely to make unhealthy choices. Drink up!

| 6. BETTER WORKOUTS
Want to crush your workout? Stay hydrated! Muscle tissue is about ¾ water by weight- that’s why those who have larger muscles need more water. That’s why those who want larger muscles or a toned body should drink more water- your body and your muscles NEED it! Not like a high school girl needs to have the perfect backpack for the first day of school… more like how you NEED to drink water or else you’ll die. To keep our muscles working at optimal performance they need to be taken care of and supported through proper nutrition, hydration, fatigue through exercise, and restful recovery. Water is essential for reaching fitness goals and recovering from a killer gym session. Bottle of water, anyone?

| 7. BOOST MOOD AND BRAIN FUNCTION
Our brains are almost entirely made up of water, so it makes sense to keep ourselves hydrated if we want to be able to use our noggin’s at optimal levels. Being so densely made of water, the brain is extremely sensitive to dehydration- you can start to notice side effects being just 1% dehydrated! Those effects include mental fatigue, fogginess, headaches, and lack of focus. It can also increase the feeling of anxiety! No body has time for that! Dehydration doesn’t only come from going on a run and not bringing any water. You can get dehydrated simply but not drinking enough even if you’re sitting all day. So stay alert and keep headaches at bay- drink more water!

| 8. REGULATE BODY TEMPERATURE
Water also helps us to “keep our cool”, so to speak. That’s right, water helps us regulate our internal body temperature. Think about it- the skin is our largest organ, and it’s responsible for helping to control our body temperature by sweating, or not sweating. You may not notice, because the human body is so wonderfully designed and efficient, but metabolism creates A LOT of heat- just an energy producing side effect of breaking down literally everything! Because we create so much heat, the body has to be able to cool itself down, and that’s where water and sweating comes into play. If your dehydrated you may not be able to sweat enough to regulate your body temperature, and this can result in hot flashes, dizziness, flushing or even a stroke if it’s really, really bad! Stay cool and don’t forget to sip out of that water bottle!

 

written by: Samantha Crosland


11 Vegan Side Dishes Everyone Will Love

11 Vegan Side Dishes Everyone Will Love!

It’s the holiday season and besides cozy sweaters and pumpkin spiced everything, that means dinner parties galore! While gathering with friends and family is probably the best thing about the holidays, all of the snacking and extra calories can really add up! We all deserve to indulge a little, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw caution to the wind. With these 11 vegan side dishes everyone will love, you'll have healthier but just as delicious vegan dish options. Plus, you can be sure you’re bringing something to the table everyone can enjoy! Bonus: not using meat or dairy cuts grocery costs WAY down. Delicious and cost-effective? Sounds like the perfect dinner party!

1. Vegan Turmeric Mac N’ Cheese

This mac n’ cheese is creamy, decadent, and packed with the anti-inflammatory superfood turmeric! Full of flavor and working to keep your gut healthy, this side dish is more than just a ode to childhood comfort food.

2. Superfood Energy Balls

These bite size cacao balls are a delicious healthy treat for everyone to enjoy! What makes this snack even more likeable is how easy and fun they are to make! This recipe is so simple you’ll want to make them every day, twice a day!

3. Red Beet Hummus Dip

What’s a summer party without a hummus dip? This superfood hummus is packed with essential nutrients. The perfect side dish to keep you satisfied!

4. Turmeric Hummus

Another one! Adding turmeric to your diet is a fantastic easy way to introduce anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties into your diet! And what better way to do it than through hummus!

5. Savory Smoked Corn & Tomatillo Salsa Verde

This Savory Smoked Corn & Tomatillo Salsa Verde pairs well with anything from your morning breakfast to your evening dinner! Although it contains just a few simple ingredients, its flavor is truly delicious.

6. Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Balls

Not only are these Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Balls simple to make, they are also a healthy way to satisfy that dessert craving that you have! Whether it’s after a workout or after dinner, this snack will be a perfect way for you to refuel or relax.

7. Moringa Pesto

This quick and easy vegan pesto recipe is delectable on almost every lunch or dinner option! From simply spreading on a piece of toast, a condiment on a sandwich, or sauce pasta or pizza, this pesto will cover it all!

8. Matcha Green Tea Smoothie Bowl

Matcha is a phenomenal way to add nutrients to your meal. This Matcha Green Tea Smoothie Bowl recipe is a sweet and easy way to add this superfood to your diet!

9. Turmeric Grilled Corn

In just about ten minutes you can spice up your lunch or dinner with this extravagant yet simple grilled corn recipe that will compliment just about every entree!

10. Homemade Peanut Butter Protein Bars

What better way to enjoy peanut butter than through a rich and savory protein bar? Most of the ingredients that are in this recipe are likely sitting in your cupboard right now. These protein bars are great to have after your workout or even as a midday pick-me-up.

11. Sweet Potato Casserole

What would the holidays be without a casserole?! This twist on a classic is vegan and gluten-free, and it’s loaded with superfoods! The topping is so good no one will even miss the marshmallows- seriously!

Enjoy your dinner parties!


DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

It's finally Fall- and you know what that means... Pumpkin Spice Lattes all around! Basic or not, you can't deny the primal call for something cozy as the days get cooler and shorter... the wild call for the ever seasonal and highly popular Pumpkin Spice Latte! The only problem with this? They're typically LOADED with sugars, artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, chemicals, flavorings, and dairy-laden creamers and milk. Blah! Don't worry- we're going to show you how to "DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte" the delicious, vegan, gluten-free, and healthy way! Skip all the way down to the bottom of the article to find the recipe, or read a little bit on why we should all be making our own Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Popular Pumpkin Spice Latte

While a little treat is essential every now and then, the PSL shouldn't be an everyday habit, especially not if you purchase it from popular chain coffee shops! Let's take a look at a Grande (Medium) Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks made with 2% Milk and topped with whipped cream...

•MACROS
-Calories: 380
-Calories from fat: 120
-Total Fat: 14g (8g from Saturated Fat)
-Total Carbs: 52g (50g from Sugar)
-Protein: 14g
-Caffeine: 150mg

•INGEDIENT LIST: Milk, Pumpkin Spice Sauce [Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate], Brewed Espresso, Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Pumpkin Spice Topping [Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, And Cloves].

•COST: $4.95
Let's say you have one medium-sized pumpkin spice latte a day for the fall season- which is about 80 days. That comes out to $396 spent on coffee drinks... that's a big chunk of change to be devoting to a high-calorie yet nutrient deficient beverage!

•HEALTH RISKS: Dairy products contribute high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat to diets. Diets high in fat, especially saturated fats, have an increased risk of heart disease among other serious illnesses.

It is recommended by the AHA (American Heart Association) that females get no more than 6 tsp of added sugar per day and men no more than 9... the Grande PSL has about 12.5 teaspoons of sugar in it- more than anyone needs in one day! To put this in perspective, a slice of pumpkin pie usually contains about half the amount of sugar as a Grande PSL. A diet too high in sugar can lead to blood sugar problems, weight gain, addiction to more sugar, and tons of other diseases and health concerns. This is a good reminder that although a drink might seem like the healthier option, sometimes just eating your dessert is better for you!

While the use of carrageenan is still being studied, this seaweed-derived thickening agent has been linked to inflammation and gastrointestinal issues. You may also notice that mono- and diglycerides are used in the Starbucks PSL. These are fats that are considered "incomplete" and are used to help bind ingredients together and prolong shelf life. They are created from animals (cow or pig), plants (soybean or canola oil), or synthetically produced in a lab.

MRM Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ok! So- buying a calorie and sugar-laden drink every day isn't a good idea... but how do we combat the desire for something so delicious?! We make our own healthy version, of course! It's really easy, and a lot more cost effective!

Some things to take into consideration: You can use store bought pumpkin puree and almond milk, or you can make your own. Both are super simple to make! For this recipe, we'll be using homemade almond milk and store bought pumpkin pureé. By using homemade almond milk, we eliminate the use of additives and thickening agents like carrageenan which can cause digestive issues, especially if you have a sensitive system. If store-bought almond milk doesn't bother you, go right on ahead and use it!

| HOW TO MAKE ALMOND MILK AT HOME:
*This recipe makes about 4 cups of Almond Milk*
1. Soak 1 Cup raw, unsalted almond in water for 4-6 hours.
2. Drain soaked almonds.
3. Blend almonds with 4 Cups filtered water until the almonds have been broken down and the liquid looks creamy.
4. Strain almond milk into a large pitcher using a cheesecloth and continuously squeezing the pulp until dry. ( You can save the pulp to make other recipes!)
5. Enjoy your fresh almond milk for up to 4 days!
-See! Only two ingredients and you have delicious, fresh and healthy almond milk. (Here are the macros per cup: Calories: 112, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 4g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 4g)

| MRM Superfood Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe:
Makes: 2 Servings!
Time: 5 Minutes
Macros per serving: Calories: 130, Fats: 4.5g, Carbs: 19.5g, Fiber: 1.5g, Protein: 3g

•Ingredient List:
-1 Cup Homemade Almond Milk
-1 Cup Hot Brewed Coffee
-2 Tbsp Organic Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
-2 Tbsp Organic Maple Syrup
-2 tsp MRM Organic Maca Superfood Powder
-1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend

•Directions:
1. Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend on high speed until completely combined.
2. Pour into two cups.
3. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy you healthy and superfood boosted PSL!

•Cost Per Cup: $2.90
*Keep in mind this is the cost using all organic ingredients- if that isn't important to you for these ingredients you can save even more money!*

You save $2.05 every cup if you make it at home! That's a savings of $164 if you made this latte every day, at home, for the 80-day fall season. Imagine all the other ways you could treat yourself with that money... You could throw it in your savings towards a house, a new car, a new phone- you could even join a gym and still have $$$ left over! The amount of money you save making your PSL this way is nothing compared to the way you're saving your body from digestive stressors, agitators, and chemicals that can cause serious illnesses.

•Health Benefits
There is so much good in the DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte! Pumpkin is full of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C- all essential for heart health. Homemade almond milk is low in calories and offers natural, plant-based calcium and protein along with the benefit of not drinking dairy which is commonly filled with blood, puss, preservatives, sugars, and hormones. Using a natural sweetener, like organic maple syrup, helps your body recognize sugar very close to its natural form making it lots easier to digest. Plus, organic maple syrup also boasts antioxidants and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and calcium! Organic coffee offers loads of antioxidants and is a great cardiovascular energy booster as long as it's not over-used (no more than 2-3 small cups off coffee per day is recommended). Maca is an adaptogenic superfood, meaning it helps your body adapt to both physical and mental stress! It's also known to help improve strength and boost vitality. The spice blend is made of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger- all great for the immune system! The spices are considered "warm" in Ayurvedic medicine, meaning they heat up the digestive system which improves digestion. Add that to the antioxidants they bring to the table, and you have yourself a pretty great looking way to start your day!


Get Fit With HIIT In 30 Minutes!

That's right- you can get fit with HIIT in 30 minutes!
Here’s the deal with cardio- it’s an essential part of any balanced training program. The problem with cardio is once you’re finished running on a treadmill, that’s it. No more running, no more burning calories. 60 minutes of work and you only burn calories while you’re working.
Fair... but... how does that saying go?

Oh, right... "Work smarter, not harder!"

Cardio is great- but if you could work out for less time, burn more calories and keep burning calories once you're finished, would you?

YES.

HIIT is a style of training that alternates bouts of high-intensity work with minimal rest periods resulting in EPOC, or Excess Post Oxygen Consumption. We want EPOC. Why? Consuming oxygen takes a lot of energy… which means the body burns calories trying to catch back up to its original oxygen levels even after you’ve finished working out. In fact, EPOC can last anywhere from 24-48 hours, depending on how intense you train. YES- you can burn tons of calories for up to 48 hours even after you’re done working out. That’s why you can do HIIT 3-4x/week and see killer results!

Plus, HIIT should only take about 30 minutes. Finish a workout in only 30 minutes AND see bombshell results?! No wonder this newly appreciated style of training is taking off so fast! Yes- HIIT is amazing- but be aware, IT IS NOT EASY! The name says it all: HIGH-INTENSITY interval training. You should be working at your maximum effort for the majority of your time doing these intervals. If you want the most bang for your buck, so to speak, then pushing yourself through a HIIT workout is essential. That being said, it’s not for those who lack the motivation to push themselves. By the end of a HIIT session, you should be sweating bullets, and whatever body part you’re focusing on should be so dang tired you couldn’t possibly do another round without it giving out.

Sounds like fun, no? Hahaha- no, but seriously, HIIT benefits go far beyond burning tons of calories. Long bouts of steady state cardio have been proven to be too taxing on the body and can cause serious injuries. In addition, steady state cardio has been shown to break down muscle, where HIIT has been shown to build muscle. Muscle burns more than fat, so yay for muscles and yay for HIIT! Those who practice HIIT also enjoy the benefits of balanced hormones sans prescriptions. An all natural way to balance the body, reduce fat, gain muscle, use oxygen efficiently, and promote heart health? Let’s HIIT it! (Get it?!)

|AMRAP
There are many different styles of HIIT. You can do sprints on the treadmill, you can practice Tabata drills, or you can try this AMRAP style (there are many, many more styles).
AMRAP stands for As Many Rounds As Possible. Pretty simple... You set a timer for a specific amount of time, you pick 3-5 exercises to do and a set number of reps for each exercise, then you try to complete as many rounds of those selected exercises as possible before the timer runs out! It’s challenging, fun, and can be designed to work the whole body or a specific body area, like upper body, lower body, arms and abs, legs and glutes, etc. You can use weighted exercises, but that would only be recommended for those who are extremely experienced and have perfected their form so they don’t injure themselves. Also- this routine will be difficult enough without weights!

|ROUTINE
This AMRAP routine is a full-body focus and it can be done anywhere, even a hotel room! Get ready to torch some calories. Be sure to have your protein shake ready when you’re done- you’re body will be craving fuel to heal your muscles and make you stronger for next time! Need help picking out your perfect protein? Check out our protein for everyone blog!

AMRAP HIIT
Set a timer for seven minutes. Complete each exercise in Set A for the specified number of repetitions before moving on to the next with no rest between exercises. When the timer is up, take up to one-minute rest, then complete Set B. That’s one Round. Complete 2 Rounds total. The less you rest, the more calories you burn!

FEEL THE BURN. LOVE THE BURN. BE THE BURN... and remember to have fun!

Set A- 7 Minutes
•Burpees x10
•Walking Lunges x12 (one lunge on each side = 1 rep, you should perform 24 lunges total, 12 each leg)
•Jump Squats x16
•Plank Taps x10 (one tap on each shoulder is one rep, you should perform 20 taps total, 10 on each arm)

Set B – 7 Min
•Jump Lunges x8 (one jump lunge on each side is one rep, you should perform 16 jump lunges total, 8 on either leg)
•Push-Ups x12
•Ice Skaters x12 (one ice skater on each leg is one rep, you should perform 24 ice skaters total, 12 on each side)
•Plank Hip Dips x10 (one hip dip on the right and left is one rep, you should perform 20 dips total, 10 each side)

Here's a list of the exercises and how to do them properly!

•Burpee:

1. Jump straight up with your hands reaching towards the sky.
2. Land with feet hip-width (or a little wider) apart and lower yourself down into a squat position.
3. Place hands firmly between feet, then jump the feet back into a plank position.
4. Jump feet back to the outside of hands and raise yourself back into the squat position.
That is one repetition. From the squat, you jump straight back up and repeat the process until you complete your set amount of repetitions.

•Alternating Front Lunge:

1. Start standing with feet hip-width apart, spine in a neutral position with abdominals engaged, hand on hips, and shoulders pulled own and back away from your ears.
2. Step your right foot out in front of you, and soften the knees until you are in a right lunge position- both knees bent at 90°.
3. Push through your right foot heel to propel yourself back into the starting position.
4. Repeat with the left leg.
That's one repetition. Continue until you complete your set amount of repetitions.

•Jump Squat:

1. Start with feet slightly wider than hip apart. Your feet should be slightly turned outwards away from each other. Keep the abdominals engaged, shoulders pulled down away from ears, and don't let your back drop forward.
2. Slowly lower yourself into a deep squat bringing your arms in front of your chest. Remember not to let the knees cave in towards each other.
3. From the deep squat position, push down through your heels while squeezing the glutes together to propel your body up into the air. That is one repetition.
4. Land with soft knees to prevent injury and repeat until your complete your set amount of repetitions.

•Plank Taps:

1. Start in a push-up position: Hands shoulder width apart, arms straight (but joints not locked), shoulders pulled down the back away from the ears, neck in neutral position (don't look down under your tummy, look straight down and slightly forward), forming a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels, weight should be evenly distributed between your hands and balls of your feet. Your bum should be tucked and your abs should be engaged.
2. Transfer the weight from the left hand into the right keeping the body as straight as possible while shifting weight. Bring the left hand up to the right shoulder and tap it. Bring your left hand back down to its starting position and get back into that neutral push up position.
3. Do the same thing with your right arm. You want your hips and torso to move as little as possible- that means no dipping hips or rocking onto the sides of your feet while switching from arm to arm.
3. That's one rep. Continue until you complete your set number of repetitions.

•Jump Lunges:

1. Start in a lunge position with your right leg forward.
2. From here, push through both feet to propel your body into the air.
3. Switch leg positions in the air before landing with soft knees.
4. You should land in a left lunge position.
5. Do the same thing again, switching your left leg so your right leg ends up in front. That's one repetition.
6. Continue until you complete set of repetitions.

•Push Ups:

1. Start in a push-up position: Hands shoulder width apart, arms straight (but joints not locked), shoulders pulled down the back away from the ears, neck in neutral position (don't look down under your tummy, look straight down and slightly forward), forming a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels, weight should be evenly distributed between your hands and balls of your feet. Your bum should be tucked and your abs should be engaged.
2. From here, slowly bend the elbows keeping them tucked in towards the rib cage as you lower your chest to the ground- or as close as you can get before you lose proper form.
3. Press your body up away from the ground through the fingertips and palms of the hands straightening your arms. Do not allow any other part of your body to move- keep your body as straight as a bored!
4. That's one repetition. Continue until you complete your set of repetitions.

•Ice Skaters:

1. Start in a right curtsey position- similar to a right lunge but the back leg is crossed behind the front. Most of your weight should be on the front (right) leg, using the back (left) for balance and support.
2. Sweep the back leg out to the left while pushing off the front leg to propel you straight up into the air and towards the left leg.
3. Land on your left foot with soft knees and bring the right leg across behind the body.
4. Repeat on the opposite side. That's one repetition.
Continue until you complete your set number of repetitions.

•Plank Hip Dips:

1. Start in an elbow plank position: Just like a push up starting position, but you rest on your forearms.
2. while keeping your shoulders as still and straight as possible, rotate the hips towards the right until the right hip touches the ground (or as close as you can get to the ground without compromising form).
3. Rotate the hips back into the neutral starting plank position.
4. Repeat on the left side. That's one repetition.
Continue until you complete your set number of repetitions.


Keto 101

|Keto 101- everything you need to know on how and why the Ketogenic diet might be right for you!

Ok- so we've all heard about the Keto diet by now. It's everywhere- all over your social media feed and your best friend's boyfriend's sister's mom lost a million pounds and is in the best shape of her life. So, the question begs- Is the keto lifestyle actually a safe and healthy way to get in shape?

The Ketogenic (Keto, for short) diet has been studied, and studied, and studied, over and over again... and the results continue to come back the same: The Keto diet, when practiced correctly, can work wonders for our health. Yes... you'll probably lose a bunch of weight, too, which is why it's really become so popular. But, the benefits far outweigh going down a pant size. We're talking about gut health, brain health, large amounts of energy, little to no inflammation... true internal physical health!

|Did you know... the ketogenic diet was actually developed and practiced back in the 1920’s for people who suffered from epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases- especially in children’s hospitals? Since then, it has been found that a keto diet can help improve your health and encourage weight loss. This high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet has been seen to help battle other diseases like diabetes, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s while helping to improve triglyceride levels, cholesterol ratios, and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

|Ok... but honestly, what does “Ketogenic” even mean? Ketogenic is to cause ketogenesis, or putting your body in an energy deficit state by limiting carbohydrates so much so that your liver begins to convert fat into ketone bodies. These ketone bodies become the new energy source for your brain and body.

You might be thinking "wait... I thought carbs were an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet." You're right, but here's the thing- we eat too many carbs. The average American eats around 225-325g of carbs PER DAY... Considering 70% of the population is overweight, it's safe to say this high amount of consumption is NOT recommended for those who live the standard sedentary American lifestyle. (ARTICLE)

Yes, when we eat carbs and use them for energy right away- like going for a run- they're great for us and used efficiently. Unless you’re extremely active every day or a professional athlete, the number of carbs you need to eat are much smaller than what we’ve been led to believe. When we eat too many carbohydrates and don’t use them for energy they get converted by and stored on the body as fat. Netflix and chill (and snacks), anyone?

|Here’s the thing, contrary to popular belief, FAT IS NOT BAD! Fat is, in fact, great for us! Our bodies prefer to use consumed fats as our energy source. Plus, when we eat the proper proportions of macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats), fat doesn’t get stored as fat! It’s used for, you guessed it, energy! In fact, you need to eat fat in order to lose fat. Healthy fats are used throughout our entire body for so many crucial metabolic functions it’s not even funny. To starve yourself of fat is to starve your body of essential, vital nutrients.

The human body can't make essential fatty acids on its own, so we need to get them from our diet. Carbohydrates are not essential because we can make the carbs we need from other nutrients stored in the body. This is another reason the keto diet is popular. You eat barely any carbs, you convert the fat you have stored into energy for your brain and body, you lose weight, you feel fantastic. Our bodies do, in fact, work more efficiently this way, which is another reason the Keto diet is being touted as one of the healthiest around.

|The process of becoming a keto powerhouse can be challenging, and some people even experience what's known as the "Keto Flu”. Now don’t worry, this isn't necessary or permanent, and there are ways to help combat experiencing symptoms! What's really happening is you're forcing your body to re-learn how to process foods in order for you to survive. This can take anywhere from two days up to a few weeks depending on how many carbs you consume, your activity level, lifestyle, and a little on your genetic makeup. The keto flu happens when the reduction in carbs is so drastic your body goes into shock and you experience withdrawal symptoms: headaches, fatigue, irritability and sugar cravings... just to name a few. You can slowly transition into a keto state by reducing your carb intake over time while increasing your fat and maintaining appropriate protein intake levels. Keep this up until you reach the recommended keto ranges and stay there. You can also add supplements to your diet that help your body begin using your fat stores more efficiently. (Check our lists of foods to eat and avoid on the Keto Diet below!)

|Keto only works when done right... and that's easier said than done. To get into Ketosis, the metabolic state of the ketogenic diet, you need to drastically reduce your carb intake to anywhere between 20-50g per day, or less! Remember, the average American eats around 225-325g of carbs per day... so like I said, easier said than done for most! What would a traditional keto macro breakdown look like?

|MACROS
Of your daily caloric intake requirements, to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle, you would want:

Carbs – 5%
Protein – 20%
Fat – 75%

Essentially, you're going to starve your body of carbs- *NOT to be confused with starving yourself*- and eat a moderate amount of protein and a high amount of HEALTHY fats.

You also want to up your water intake! More water is never a bad idea, but increasing water is a great way to help your body transition into this new type of diet and lifestyle. Find out how water helps you lose weight HERE.

|What You Can Eat On The Keto Diet:
•Low carb veggies (Greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions…)
•Avocados
•Healthy Oils (EVOO, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil…)
•Nuts/Seeds (Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, almonds…)
•Cheese – unprocessed (Goat cheese, mozzarella, cheddar)
•Butter/Ghee – Opt for grass-fed, no hormones, etc.
• Eggs
•Fatty Fish (Salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout…)
•Meat & Poultry (Chicken, turkey, steak, ham, sausage, bacon…)
•Fruit (Only small portions of berries are allowed)

-Supplements to help make the transition easier:
MRM Egg White Protein (23g protein, no fat, 2g carbs- great macros for Keto!)
MRM Smart Blend (Advanced Essential Fatty Acid Blend in ratios that balance your diet)
MRM Acetyl L-Carnitine (Aid body in accessing fat stores to make energy, liquid or capsule available)

|What Not To Eat On The Keto Diet:
•Sugary Foods (Cake, candy, pastries, soda, fruit juice…)
•Grains or Starches (Wheat products, cereal, rice, pasta…)
•Fruit (Besides berries)
•Beans/Legumes (Peas, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts…)
•Roots/Starchy Vegetables (Carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes…)
•Low-Fat Products (Carbs/Sugar are used to replace the lost amount of fat)
•Unhealthy fats (Processed vegetable oils, Mayo…)
•Alcohol (7 calories/g as carbs- the high carb content will throw you out of ketosis)
•Sugar-Free Diet Foods (Highly processed and full of sugar alcohols)

|Take note- before transitioning into any new diet, especially one that almost eliminates an entire food group, it's important to consult your doctor! Remember what you learned in pre-school: safety first, always!


Easy & Fun Halloween Treats

Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with some super fun treats! Don't worry- they're not all bad! In fact, they're packed with protein and superfoods to help combat inflammation and keep you fuller longer so you don't have that continuous urge to eat everything in sight. Ok- you might still have that urge but these small changes in ingredients should help you resist the urge a bit easier than normal!

PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE

This latte is EVERYTHING! It's delicious, energizing, vegan, gluten-free, and made with healthy ingredients. The superfood Maca is used in this recipe, and if you're wondering what Maca is you are in for a treat! Maca is a superfood known for its adaptogenic qualities- meaning it helps the body adapt to all different kinds of stressors while promoting muscle growth when used with a regular fitness routine. Oh- did we mention the slightly sweet and nutty flavor is freaking delicious?! Yup! Add that to this latte recipe and not only it the superfood boost you need, but it's also way cheaper to make your own PSL than to go out and buy one. Seriously- get ready for your new morning coffee. Easy, healthy and delicious... you can't go wrong!
GET THE RECIPE HERE

PEANUT BUTTER PROTEIN SPIDER COOKIES

These festive cookies are perfect for any party- or just for fun because who doesn't love super cute Halloween cookies?! Grab your friends, the kiddos, the S.O.s and get ready for a seriously fun baking party. The best part- these can easily be made gluten-free or vegan with simple substitutes! Don't forget to tag us if you make these- we NEED to see all the cute creations!
GET THE RECIPE HERE

PUMPKIN DEVILED EGGS

These pumpkin deviled eggs are amazing for Halloween parties, obviously because they're super cute and fun... but also because they're freaking delicious AND filled with anti-inflammatory turmeric. We could all use a little anti-inflammatory action while eating our hearts through a party. So enjoy and feel good about snacking on these protein filled bites of joy!
GET THE RECIPE HERE


Smoothies 101

Welcome, to Smoothie Making 101! We're going to teach you how to make the perfect smoothie every time!

Making smoothies is easy... for most people. For others, being easy to make is what makes it hard! Like, there should be more structure and direction for how to make a smoothie- you can't just throw whatever in a blender willy-nilly, right?! Well, you've come to the right place. Here, it's still simple, but now you'll have a sort of general outline you can use to make the perfect smoothie every time!

| Step One: Choose a Smoothie Base

You don't want your smoothie to be super runny but you don't want it to be so thick you can't sip it. Your base should be what you use to give the smoothie its thickness/creaminess/silky texture- and usually, you want the flavor to be pretty neutral.

Some popular staples:
•1/2 Frozen Banana
•1/2 Avocado
•1/2-1 Cup Yogurt or Yogurt Alternative

| Step Two: Add Some Fruits & Veggies

This is where the "focus" of your smoothie comes in to play. You want a berry smoothie- you're gonna use berries. You want a chocolate banana smoothie? Add more banana! With any smoothie, adding greens like Spinach and Kale are a simple add-in that boosts nutritional value through the roof without altering the flavor. Seriously, you can add SO MUCH spinach to a smoothie and all it does is add the green color. you can't even taste it. It's AMAZING.

You want to stick to 1/2-1 Cup total for your fruits, usually frozen works better to keep the smoothie super cold and creamy. Fresh fruits are amazing, just be aware that they'll make the smoothie a bit more watery! If you're using harder items- like carrots- you can steam or grate them so they'll blend up much easier and leave no chunks!

Here are some popular favorites:
•Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, blackberries
•Banana, pineapple, mango, papaya
•Peaches, pears, dragon fruit, apple
•Veggies/Greens: Spinach, kale, cucumber, carrot, pumpkin

| Step 3: Liquids

Add your liquid a little bit at a time- sometimes too much liquid means your smoothie won't blend smooth! Try adding 1/2 cup first, then blending. If it's not enough, add a little splash at a time until you get your desired consistency. After a little while, you'll be able to eyeball how much is appropriate for what kind of smoothie you're making.

Here are some popular favorites:
•Almond Milk
•Coconut Water
•Coconut Milk
•Cow's Milk
•Hemp Milk
•Rice Milk
•Water
•Apple Juice
•Orange Juice
•Pineapple Juice
•Iced Coffee

| Step 4: Smoothie Boosts!

These are things that can be essential to your smoothie flavor, or simple things that boost nutrients and add a little crunch or slight flavor. Either way, these tend to be powders or small morsels that can add a little texture without ruining the smoothie!

Here are some popular options:
•Chia Seeds
•Hemp Seeds
•Cacao Nibs (great for a healthy crunch in a chocolate shake)
•Protein Powders (perfect to make your smoothie a meal and keep you healthy!)
•Superfood Powders (Like cacao for a chocolatey flavor, or baobab for a citrus flavor, or moringa for a green boost!)
•Almonds or Cashews
•Honey or Agave (If you really need the smoothie to be sweeter)
•Spices (Think cinnamon, nutmeg or turmeric)

| Step 5: Blend!

There you have it! The basics of making a smoothie! follow these suggestions and you'll be making your own smoothies into works of art in no time!

Here are some delicious smoothie recipes you can try out right now...

BERRY RED BEET SMOOTHIE
Made with the superfood red beet, this smoothie is vibrant in color and vital nutrients like antioxidants and health healthy vitamins and minerals!

TROPICAL BAOBAB SMOOTHIE
This tropical smoothie tastes like dessert, but you needn't have any guilt! Packed with superfoods, vitamin C, and fiber you can sip your way healthy all day!

DETOX & CLEANSE SMOOTHIE
This smoothie is just what you need after a fun weekend! Boosted with superfoods that help the body naturally detox you can drink this and feel your body thanking you without any digestive issues!


DIY Detoxifying Turmeric Face Mask

We all know Turmeric is a superfood that boasts myriad benefits for internal health. Did you also know that Turmeric can be used in a simple DIY detoxifying face mask right at home? Yup! It's super easy to make, only uses three ingredients, and will work to brighten your skin and fight acne-causing bacteria to keep your skin glowing and clear.

Bonus: The ingredients are cheap and will last SO LONG you won't have to restock for a loooooong time!

Cheap beautifying face mask you can make at home? YAAAS QUEEN! Miracles do come true!

| Here are the ingredients we use: MRM Turmeric Superfood Powder, Aztec Clay, and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV - you can substitute this with filtered water if you don't have any ACV or simply don't want to use it!)

| Let's talk about the Aztec Clay...We use "Aztec Indian Secret Healing Clay". What it really is, is calcium bentonite clay. It's sourced here in California from Death Valley where it is harvested and naturally sun-dried for about six months where temperatures can reach up to 135°F! This clay is famous for fighting acne and blemishes due to its positive ion charge (our skins impurities and poisons are negatively charged). The (negative) mask attracts the (positive) skin impurities and pulls them out toward the surface and into the mask. Simple as that!  This is our base for the mask and is essential for deep pore detoxing. *It is important to never use any type of metal bowl or spoon for making a mask with this clay as it will pull the metals into the clay mask- the exact opposite of what we're trying to do!

| Onto ACV... This stuff is amazing for you, inside and out! As far as skin health goes, ACV is known to help clear blemishes and acne while balancing the skins pH level- something many of us forget about! The balancing of pH levels on the skin helps to balance sebum oil production. Sebum oil is naturally produced by our skin when it's too dry or stripped of its natural oils. Balancing this helps reduce age spots, fight wrinkles, and remove toxins along with clearing blemishes! You can opt to use filtered water- it won't have the same healing effect as ACV, but your mask will still be killer!

| Let's get to the star of the show: Turmeric!
Turmeric is known around the world as an anti-inflammatory food that helps aid digestion and heals the gut from the inside out. BUT- did you know Turmeric has also been traditionally used by Indian brides to purify, detox, brighten, and bring a healthy glow to their skin? Yes! It combats acne and clears the skin, brightens and evens out skin tone, and fights eczema, dark spots, wrinkles, and dark circles around the eyes. Plus- Tuermic is pretty cheap! Talk about a bang for your buck- you can make dinner with this spice and use it to beautify. We love products so pure you can eat and use them on the skin, don't you? (Do NOT eat the face mask mixture. Only the turmeric powder is approved to use in food.)

Here's what you really want... The face mask recipe!

| DETOXIFYING TURMERIC FACE MASK

INGREDIENTS:
•2 Tbsp Aztec Clay
•1-2 tsp Turmeric Powder
•2-3 Tbsp AVC or Filtered Water

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine Clay and Tuermic in a small non-metal container.
2. Pour ACV into the clay mixture and stir with a non-metal utensil until smooth and fully combined. *You may need to add more ACV or clay to get the right consistency- you don't want it super runny, more creamy or like a paste.*

3. Using your fingers or an old cleaned makeup brush, apply an even layer of the mask all over the face, avoiding sensitive areas like the eyes and lips and any open wounds.

4. Leave on for 10-20 minutes for normal skin, 5-10 minutes for sensitive skin.
5. Gently wash off in the shower or with a warm wash clothe.
6. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

*Your skin will be red from anywhere between 10-30 minutes afterward due to the detoxing mask. You may also notice a yellow tint to the skin, this will wash away with a gentle soap. This is normal and nothing to be worried about- although we don't recommend using the mask right before a date ;)

**Be sure you're wearing old clothes you don't mind staining or be very careful- Turmeric is also used to dye textiles, and for good reason- that color will STAY PUT!

***If you have any skin irritation or experience a rash, discontinue use!

Use this mask 1-2 times per week and see your beautiful skin brought to its full potential, naturally! Happy masking :)

 

written by: Samantha Crosland


3 Easy Back-To-School Recipes

3 Easy back-to-school recipes!

It's that time of year- back-to-school! How exciting, right? With a new schedule comes new routines, and the easiest way to make life easier is to meal prep with easy and simple recipes!

Whether you use these recipes for yourself or your kiddos, and whether you're going back-to-school or simply going to work, you can rest assured you'll be full, healthy, and satisfied... not to mention wishing you had more because they're so dang tasty!

Each back-to-school easy to make recipe uses a specific superfood, and for good reason. The first is taste- because let's be real, we all want our food to taste GREAT! The second reason is the nutritional benefits! Each boasts their own specific "good for you" vitamins and minerals. We'll give you a little info on which one we used and why :) The third- the colors make the food so vibrant and isn't that just so much fun? And what's life if we can't have a little fun?! To get the recipe, just click on their names!

Alright- let's check out these amazing superfood packed back-to-school recipes...

PESTO PASTA WITH CHERRY TOMATOES

This pasta recipe takes no more than 20 minutes to make, and you can easily double up to prep for more people or more days. You pop a tub of this out at lunch and everyone else will be drooling over your shoulder! Also- to keep this gluten-free all you need to do is substitute your favorite gluten-free noodles, or try out zoodles (zucchini shredded to look like spaghetti)!

Superfood Used: Moringa

Why? Moringa is packed full of protein, fiber, Vitamins A & C, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, and Chlorophyll. Moringa is great for helping to balance blood sugar levels, electrolyte levels, and balancing pH levels! Plus the fiber and protein help to keep us fuller, longer... and aid in digestion. By adding this superfood green to the pesto recipe you get all of the nutritional benefits without sacrificing flavor!

MACA MEXICAN CHICKEN SALAD

This taco salad is seriously SO. DANG. GOOD. One thing to note- the recipe does call to marinate your chicken overnight before cooking! You could always opt for a store-bought pre-marinated chicken if that makes it easier and simply sprinkle or rub the Maca Superfood all over the chicken before cooking. Either way- this recipe is still super easy! Plus, it looks really cool and appetizing when you pack it up in a mason jar. Insta-worthy, delicious, and healthy: win-win-win!

Superfood Used: Maca

Why? Maca root has been used for centuries and is an adaptogenic herb. This means it helps our bodies adapt to different stressors- whether it's stress from a busy day at work or from hitting the gym a little too hard, maca is there to help recover! Plus, maca has been known to help improve mental clarity, strength, energy, stamina, endurance, and virility. Maca also tastes bomb.com- it's slightly nutty and sweet and can be used in desserts but still earthy enough to work amazing in savory dishes, like this chicken salad!

TURMERIC EGG SALAD SANDWICH

An egg salad sandwich has NEVER tasted so good! Seriously- the turmeric lends just a little kick of that earthy flavor and makes the color POP like no other. Don't worry- it's not super stinky, and the radishes and cucumbers pair so well you'll be wishing you packed two sandwiches instead of one. Also- this recipe is really easy to make gluten-free- just sub out the bread for your favorite gluten-free substitute!

Superfood Used: Turmeric

Why? Turmeric is famous for its traditional use in Indian dishes and that gorgeous, vibrant yellow-orange color. Now, it's gaining even more popularity as it's amazing anti-inflammatory benefits are being exposed to the world. Turmeric has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat digestive, skin, and liver issues along with being used topically to help assist in wound healing. While we don't recommend smearing this egg salad all over your face, we do recommend eating it and enjoying all the benefits and flavor!


Weight Loss For Real

The science behind losing fat, gaining muscle, and how to safely become your healthiest self yet!

The skinny on weight loss
When you get down to the nitty-gritty, weight loss is all about calories in vs. calories out. If you eat more calories than you expend, or burn, in one day then you will store more fat and gain unwanted weight. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. It's that simple.

First of all... you can focus on losing weight, or you can focus on losing fat. You're probably thinking "Uhm.... whaaaaaat? Those are the same thing. I'm trying to lose weight- JUST TELL ME HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT!"
They are NOT the same thing. Remember, "weight" refers to your entire body- bones, tendons, muscles, organs, fat, toenails, the food you're digesting, your level of hydration- literally everything you are made of. Fat is, well, fat. Fat is usually what people are referring to when trying to "lose weight", but I think it's important to remind ourselves what we really mean when we say "lose weight". It's easy to get caught up with the numbers on the scale and become a little obsessed with hitting a target weight. While having goals for yourself is important for motivation and measuring progress, you should be making healthy, realistic goals that have less to do with a scale and more to do with your personal health, happiness, and how you feel vs. how you weigh in. Especially when you take into consideration how muscle tissue is more compact and dense compared to fat tissue. 5lbs of fat is about the same size as a bag of flour, where 5lbs of muscle is more the size of a yam... Just goes to show that a fit person can weight the same as an unfit person but look much smaller... it all just depends what their body is made of!

I can tell you from experience... I've weighed 120lbs and I wasn't happy. Even though I liked that number showing up on the scale I didn't look the way I wanted. I thought I should be perfect at that weight... but I was nowhere near the body I wanted and worked for. I knew I needed to add on weight in muscle, but the scale made me afraid to do it! I'm an educated certified personal trainer, and I know that gaining muscle would give me the physique and strength I wanted even though I would be gaining weight... but seeing the scale move up terrified me and I instantly associated weight gain with fat gain. The problem is with the scale. With measuring everything and feeling inadequate because of what the scale said, I held myself back! I knew 120lbs was not a healthy weight for my height and activity level (5'8" and extremely active- gym about 6 days a week and my off days consist of long hikes and stretching). Now I weigh around 130lbs, have defined abs, strong arms and legs, and energy to push through even the longest days and I'm looking to build even more muscle- which means gaining more weight! Seriously... forget about the scale and stop giving those numbers emotional value, you are worth so much more than that.

I digress...

We already covered the basics, you need to burn more than you eat. But...

Did you know?

Calories are actually measurements of energy! That's how you should think of them. However many calories a food contains, that's it's potential energy output...   It's up to you to eat foods that support your energy needs. Think of your body as a car. You wouldn't put diesel in a car that requires regular fuel, it would totally destroy the entire car and the way it runs. If your car is running low on fuel you know it won't be able to last long before dying... so you fuel it up to keep it running!
Fuel yourself right and your body will work the way it's supposed to.

The saying is true, "food is fuel"!

Figuring out how much energy(calories) you need every day is where counting calories can come in to favor you. Forget about all the 1200 calories a day diets.... those are bizarre and NOT healthy. In fact, eating so little can destroy your metabolism and push your body into starvation mode. Once in that mode, the more you eat the more your body will store as fat because it's afraid you won't get enough food for a while! So- eat up! Don't starve yourself, you're only going to regret it later.

The opposite is also true, if you eat too many calories and don't use that energy to refuel or build new muscles, your body will store it as fat. Plain and simple.

Why do we store fat?
It's a survival mechanism- we store extra calories on the body so if we're ever in survival mode and haven't been able to refuel, we can use our fat/energy stores! The human body is incredible, isn't it?

Simply existing every day requires us to burn calories. Your resting metabolic rate, or RMR, represents how many calories you need each day just for your body to function at the absolute least demanding level- as if you were sleeping all day.  To figure out what your RMR is, use the following equation:

WOMEN: (Your weight in kilograms x 9.99) + (Your height in centimeters x 6.25) - (4.92 x Your age in years) - 161 = RMR

MEN: (Your weight in kilograms x 9.99) + (Your height in centimeters x 6.25) - (5 x Your age in years) + 5 = RMR

Once you've figured out your RMR, you should never eat less than this amount- this is the baseline of what you need to survive healthily on a daily basis.

To determine how many calories you need to consume to healthily lose weight, you've got to figure out what your total daily energy expenditure is, or your TEE. To do this, you're going to multiply your RMR by an appropriate activity factor.

Use the following information to chose your appropriate activity level and calculate your TEE:

VERY LIGHT | RMR x 1.2-1.3
Seated and standing activities, office work, driving, cooking; no vigorous activity.

LOW ACTIVE | RMR x 1.5-1.6
In addition to the activities of a sedentary lifestyle, 30 minutes of moderate activity equivalent of walking 2 miles in 30 minutes; most office workers with additionally planned exercise routines.

ACTIVE | RMR x 1.6-1.7
In addition to the activities of a low active lifestyle, an additional 3 hours of activity such as bicycle 10-12 miles an hour, or walk 4.5 miles an hour.

HEAVY | RMR x 1.9-2.1
Planned vigorous activities, physical labor, full-time athletes, hard-labor professionals such as steel or road workers.

Now, take your calculation with a grain of salt, because the accuracy can fluctuate up to 20% and change weekly and monthly depending on any progress made and activity level changes. This is just to get an idea of how many calories you should consume each day for maintenance based on your activity level.

Like I just said- the equation you've just solved is for maintenance or staying the same weight. To lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit.
One pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. To lose weight in a maintainable and healthy way, you should aim to lose anywhere from .5-2lbs/week.

To lose one pound per week you need to be in a 3,500 calorie deficit each week from what your total weekly calorie input is: (TEF x 7) - 3,500.
The easiest way to make this happen is to divvy up the calories you need to burn/restrict throughout the week. This would be a 500 calorie deficit every day- very maintainable with a little willpower and dedication.
You can achieve this with a combination of exercise and limiting the number of calories consumed, exercise alone, or calorie restriction alone. The easiest would be the combination. You can work out for an hour and burn around 300 calories if you're doing a great routine of both cardio and lifting weights. Then you would only have to make sure you're eating 200 fewer calories per day than your daily recommendation (TEF).

Something to remember:

YOU CAN'T OUT EXERCISE A BAD DIET.
If the food you consume is bad, your body will never respond in the way you want it to. That's a fact, it's been proven over and over again. Yes, you can give yourself a meal or two a week where you're able to indulge in not-so-healthy foods like pizza, fries, or dessert- that's totally fine, healthy, and necessary to not go crazy for a lot of people! But- if you're eating junk food every day or every other day, or drinking beers every night, well... you aren't going to see the results you think you're working towards. You can kill it in the gym but if your diet isn't on point, you won't see the result you want.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is HARD work if you're not used to it... and it can feel really difficult at times. Especially if you don't have a good support system or you're surrounded by people who constantly tease you or don't respect your goals. Make sure to find a good support system. This could be a personal trainer you can talk to when you're not sure what to do or feel like giving in to temptation (Caution: doughnuts seem to pop up everywhere when you begin eating mindfully). Or even a social media group! There are tons of like-minded people in groups on Facebook and Instagram- find one and join! The support you get from other people when you share your feelings and what you're dealing with can be overwhelming- in a good way! You'll see you're not alone and get tons of tips and tricks and motivation from those who have also been going through a trying time.

One more tip for losing weight:
Gain weight in muscle!

I'm so serious. Muscles demand more calories to burn simply to exist. This boosts your metabolism and means you can eat more! Seriously- building muscle will tone your body and give you those long, lean, strong lines everyone is after AND make it possible to eat more! A killer strong body and room to eat seconds? What more could a girl (or guy) ask for?!