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So as you guys know I listen to a lot of podcasts about successful happy people as part of my self-care  I also make a point to read personal development books too.  It is just important to me to always have positive information fresh in my brain.  It really does help me make the best out of life and stay motivated. So one of the key things that all of these books and podcasts have in common is they say the key to a productive day is your morning routine.

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I already have a pretty well established routine in place where I get myself up early, about a half hour before I have to get in the shower and get ready for work. I pack my lunch and have a cup of coffee or two.  Usually when I sit with my coffee I scroll my social media, read fellow bloggers posts and make an entry in my journal.  

The journaling is a new thing for me and something that I picked up in a book or podcast.  I can’t remember which.  I know Mel Robbins says in her book the 5 Second Rule to write down 2 things that are important for you to accomplish during the day.  Just two things so that A) You have your goals for the day and B) It’s only two so you are more than likely to accomplish them and not get overwhelmed.   So I have been following this practice nearly everyday.

What I can tell you about the habit of journaling is that it clears my mind and helps me to prepare for my day.  I have so much going on, between 4 kids, a full time job, my blog and now my Mary Kay business (which is booming by the way), I am super swamped.  So jotting down my feelings on things that occurred the day before, what my intentions are for the day and my two big goals for the day gets me set for success! 

My suggestion to rock your mornings is to set your alarm for at least an half hour earlier than usual. Then you can absolutely not hit snooze! Studies show that this can throw off your whole day. (Check out Mel Robbins book the 5 Second Rule for more details on this)  Lastly if you haven’t done it yet start your journal now!  Write down those thoughts running around in your brain and set two big goals for the day. It makes a huge difference, keeps you focused and on track to a productive day! 

What are some of your morning rituals?  Do you already keep a journal?  If so how has it helped you!  I would love to hear about it! 

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I had the opportunity to spend some time with a dear friend this weekend and she looks amazing.  She has recently lost 30 lbs! So of course I had to ask her how she did it and if I could share it with you guys.  

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Eva lives with her husband and 4 year old son.  Managing work and home life keeps her extremely busy but she has managed to lose 30 pounds.   If you are a Mom you know how hard it is to find time to take care of yourself as you try to meet the needs of your family and career. She did it just by tracking her food intake and maintaining a regular exercise routine. 

 

Before
After

                                                                       

 


Tracking Food

Eva uses her fit bit to track her food and exercise.  In the fit bit app it allows you to set up a calorie budget.  It then tracks the calories that you burn throughout the day and then you input the calories that you eat.  The app will tell you if you can eat more or if your over budget throughout the day based on your calorie intake. You can set up a weight loss goal in the app to help you lose the weight.  It gives you different levels of weight loss and tells you what day you should lose the weight by based on the level you chose.  Eva has chosen the hardest level which means that she wants to burn 1,000 more calories than what she eats.  

Exercise

“The fit bit is the best thing that could ever happen for me.” Eva says as she works on her latest jewelry masterpiece.  (In her spare time she creates beautiful jewelry that she has recently created an Etsy shop for.  You can check out her work here: Bohemia Jewelry by Eva) Eva goes on to say that she really enjoys the competitions and being able to see how she compares to her friends that have fit bits.  These things really inspired her to move more and take action to meet her weight loss goals.

In this picture i am wearing one of the beautiful pieces made by Eva. It is a necklace and earring set.

 In addition to killing it on the fit bit challenges Eva makes sure she hits the gym 2 times a week.  She does have a personal trainer that she has sessions with three times a month.  This has been good for her she says because he does push her to work harder and he will give her assignments on the days that she doesn’t see him.  She also gets up every morning and runs 3.67 miles.  When I asked her how does she make herself get up she said she just does it.  She knows that if she doesn’t get up and do it first thing in the morning there will be no time for her to do it again later.  The step competitions have driven her to expect a certain number of steps by the end of the day.  Missing that run would ruin her stats so she refuses to miss it.  I have a fit bit too and I can tell you it is the only reason I move some days, either I am in a competition or just cannot stand the thought of not meeting my goal. 

How do you feel now that you have lost the weight?

Eva feels great now that she has lost the weight.  She would like to lose 10 more pounds but she already doesn’t have back pain, can run up the stairs without getting winded, has more energy and is more confident. Not only can she fit in her pre-pregnancy clothes again she can wear a larger variety of styles. She admits it is always easier to be more disciplined at work.  She drinks more water and her food intake is easier to manage.  On the weekends at home it is much harder to stay disciplined because of the lack of schedule. She often catches herself helping her 4 year old with a snack.  She says there are good days and bad days but sticking to the exercise routine is what keeps her motivated and disciplined. 

Something she recently has been able to do that she couldn’t do before is sink to the bottom of the pool.  She has finally gained more muscle mass than fat so that she no longer floats.  She especially enjoys this because she will sit on the bottom of the pool and watch her son swimming.  He just learned how and it is fascinating for her to see his accomplishment from this perspective.

Eva’s Go-to Snacks

  1. Chopped Red Cabbage – she chops this up and eats about a cup of these for snack.
  2. Cranberries and Pecans mixed together.  1/4 cup of Cranberries and 1/4 cup Pecans
  3. 1/3 of a zone bar.  It is 190 calories for the whole thing.  To prevent herself from eating it all she cuts off the portion she will use as a snack and then wraps the other portion and puts it away.  Out of sight out of mind.  


 

Eva’s Oatmeal Recipe

I asked Eva to share one of her favorite recipes with us.  This oatmeal recipe is balanced with carbs and protein and she absolutely love it. It is well balanced breakfast with the right amount of carbs, fiber and protein.  

 

Eva has done an amazing job with her weight loss and she looks fantastic.  Don’t forget to check out her Etsy Jewelry Shop which you can get to by clicking the link below:

 Bohemia Jewelry by Eva

                                               

What fitness tool has helped you lose weight?  Do you have some tips or go-to healthy snacks that you could share?  Please share them with me in the contents.

Also I have just started a new Facebook group: Pound Shredders Facebook Group.  This is a place to share recipes, workouts, tips and tricks for Weight-Loss.  A place for us to encourage and congratulate each other.  I would love for you to join us.

Love,

Christy Z.

https://www.marykay.com/christyzelaya
Health and Fitness Blogger Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay

 

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Skin care is an important part of your daily self care and beauty regiment.  There are always new trendy ways to take care of your skin and the most cared for skin on your body is of course your face. Since we should always put our best face forward we should make sure we are doing what is best for our face. One of the best things you can do for your face is to use a facial mask.  However all facial masks are not created equal and you should chose one that is gentle on your skin. 

Your Facial Mask Should Not Be Painful

I have seen tons of blog posts and advertisements for the charcoal masks that peel off. I found it really strange that these advertisements and homemade mask recipes have warnings.  They say you should avoid the sensitive skin on your face such as the soft tissue around your eyes and around your face because it will really hurt to pull the mask off especially in these areas.  My thoughts? Your facial mask should not be painful! These warnings combined with what I recently learned from a 12 year veteran in the Mary Kay business about peel off masks made me want to do some investigating.

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A quick google search and the best of the anti-peeling mask articles was: The Major Problem With Painful Face Masks by Erika Stalder.  In her article Erika questioned a dermatologist, Dr. Debra Jaliman who stated plainly that there should be no pain when you use a facial mask.  The pulling and tugging on your skin caused by the facial mask puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on the collagen and elasticity in your skin.  These things help your skin look youthful so it is definitely not a good idea to wear these out.  Additionally Dr. Jaliman stated that this type of tugging on the skin could also cause broken blood vessels.  Read Erik’s full article here: The Major Problem With Painful Face Masks

While most people love the feel of the mask peeling away from their skin because they believe it is pulling with it all of the dirt and impurities that were clogging their pores, it really can be dangerous.  The best facial masks are the ones that simply rinse off your face.  They are gentle to the skin but still remove all that dirt and oil clogging your pores.  My recommendation? TheClear Proof® Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask from Mary Kay. The price is right, you can use it up to three times a week and it gently washes away.

What are your favorite facial masks?  Are you going to be able to give up your skin tugging peel off masks?  

There are affiliate links within this post. However, all opinions are my own unless otherwise cited. Clicking on and using the links to purchase products does not increase your cost at all. I appreciate your support.

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Love, 

Christy Z.

 

 

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Inevitably on any weight loss journey you are going to encounter a protein shake or two.  I am right there with you.  I have tried quite a few and most were good experiences but there is the occasional shake that is just down right undrinkable.  I want to share with you a few of the ones that I have tried and enjoy to help you out..  

 




Atkins Ready to Drink Shake

First on the list is the Atkins Chocolate Shake and it is only 4 Weight Watchers Smart Points.  This stuff is delicious and with 15 grams of protein you stay satisfied longer than with some other shakes that don’t offer as much protein.  This is a favorite because it is so convenient.  You don’t have to mix it or do any preparations you just grab it and go. 

   

 

Weight Watchers Protein Shake

Second on the list are the Weight Watchers Protein Shakes.  They are delicious and if you mix with water they are only 2 smart points. However I highly recommend using Silk Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk because it is only 1 smart point.  Although the shakes are pretty good with water they are so much better with the almond milk. So at the most you are looking at 3 smart points and 10 grams of protein. (To put the smart points in perspective for anyone who is not on weight watchers the average points allotted a person a day can range from 27 to 42 depending on your height and weight.)

 

Ideal Lean Protein Powder

Last but certainly not least is my absolute favorite Protein Shake.  This is what I am currently using and I highly recommend it.  In addition to it being ZERO smart points it is delicious.  I mix this with the 8 oz of Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk and the whole shake is only 110 calories.  It has 20 grams of protein which is amazing.  And sorry guys but this protein powder was designed specifically with women in mind.  

Key Benefits of this shake are:

  • 0 Weight Watchers Smart Points
  • 80 Calories
  • 20g Protein
  • 0 Fat / Sugar / Carbs
  • 100% Whey Protein Isolate
  • Deliciously Smooth Taste

What is your go to protein shake?  What other healthy choices satisfy your hunger?  Please share below in the comments.  As always I would love to hear from you! 




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On this Mother’s Day I want to take the opportunity to remind everyone to take care of yourself.  It is easy to get caught up in the demands of everyone around you and by the end of any given day you feel spent and empty.  We give so much, in order to be the best version of ourselves we need to take care of ourselves too. 

 

Take Care of Yourself! Here are the 4 self care rituals that you can’t afford to skip! 

۞Journal Every Day ۞

 Find the time of day that works for you and write down every day what is heaviest on your mind. Then write out your goals for that day or the next day depending on when you journal.  Writing down your worries and concerns makes them feel less horrifying once you have them down on paper.  It will help you think better on what is the best way to deal with them.  Just dealing with all the worries running around your brain can leave you feeling crazy and without any idea of how to even start putting that worry behind you.  I promise writing it down will help.

 

۞ Move at least 30 Minutes Every Day ۞

 

Walk, run, play kickball with your kids.  No matter how you do it, do some form of exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.  According to the American Heart Association you need 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week of moderate exercise.  I can tell you from personal everyday experience, it reduces stress big time.  If I am feeling down or depressed I drag myself to the gym and I feel 100 times better.  I cannot stress enough the importance for your mental and physical health to get yourself moving!




 

۞ Invest Time in Skin Care Rituals ۞

 

The definition of a ritual as per Google search is “a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.”  The key word is regularly.  Wash and moisturize your face and neck daily.  This is not optional for anyone, everyone has a face and everyone needs to take care of it.  Get to know your skin, get to know what it likes and meet it at its needs.  Is it dry?  Is it Oily?  Google will tell you everything you need to know based on your skin type or for a professional opinion go see your dermatologist.  It is never too early to start and I have heard it said at a skin care class that girls should start at the age of 12. 

 

     

۞ Hydrate ۞

Drink water!  It is good for you skin, energy levels and a natural appetite suppressant. Here is a nifty hydration calculator for you to determine how much you need to drink a day via this link: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/water_calculator.htm

 

There are many ways to take care of yourself and I will cover more down the road but to get you started try these out.  You can’t be your best self if you are not taking care of yourself and these are some very basic ways to get you started.  Plan it out in your calendar when and how you can make this happen. Put reminders in your phone, whatever it takes, take care of you!

 

Do you already have some self-care rituals in place? Please share them in the comments below! 

 

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The question is does Apple Cider Vinegar really aid in weight loss?  Well let’s see what we information we were able to find.  According to Reader’s Digest what makes Apple Cider Vinegar aid in weight loss is the acetic acid that it contains.  This acid acts as an appetite suppressant as well as preventing water retention and giving your metabolism a boost.  Check out their article here on 13+ Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. They list so many other benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar that you will be surprised. It aids in digestion, clears up acne and bad breath just to name a few! 




In an article on the site Cosmopolitan they also list out 13 reasons Apple Cider is awesome.  However what is interesting is that this article states that Apple Cider does not prevent acne and to really suppress your appetite you would have to consume a large amount of Apple Cider. Additionally the Cosmopolitan article says that Apple Cider Vinegar does keep you fuller longer which would suppress your appetite for a time.  Additionally they say it could eliminate foot odor, they do agree with the Reader Digest article and say that it does indeed prevent bad breath and instead of saying it boosts your energy  they say “it softens your energy crash”.  Check out their article here for more it to see more of what Cosmopolitan has to say about Apple Cider Vinegar. 13 Reasons Apple Cider Vinegar Is the Magic Potion You Need in Your Life

In conclusion a list of the benefits are:

  1. Boosts your Metabolism
  2. Prevents Water Retention
  3. Prevents Bad Breath
  4. Cancels Out Carbs
  5. Helps Heart Burn
  6. Cures Hiccups
  7. Controls Blood Sugar
  8. Aids in Digestion  
  9. Boosts Energy

I have used Apple Cider Vinegar myself. I put 1 tablespoon in a glass of orange juice, green tea or plain water and it has helped me personally with digestion and bloating.  Remember if you decide to try it out only some of the benefits have been proven in scientific study’s and you will have to see what works for you. Overall though as an additive in other liquids it does provide quite a few health benefits.

 

Have you tried Apple Cider Vinegar before?  Did you notice some benefits?  I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.  If you do try it out let me know what works for you,  

 

 

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Your Body, Your Vehicle for Life

Everyday from the time you wake up and your feet hit the floor you have choices to make.  What to do, what to eat, when to sleep.  Your body is just along for the ride. It just responds to all of the choices you make. What I have come to realize is that this body is my vehicle for life.  Like any vehicle if you don’t provide it the proper fuel and care its life will be limited.  According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, eating healthy is key to preventing “chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 Diabetes.”  Eating healthy and exercises is the best way you can limit your chances of disease.  You can read more from them here:Top 10 Things You Need to Know About the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.


I have to say every time I see obesity referred to as disease I am slightly shocked to think I have a disease!? I am an obese person fighting this disease everyday.  Every visit to the gym, every good food choice I make, every well rested night, I am moving closer to the healthy me I want to be.  Like many of you I have fought this battle many times and I have won it before too.  So why I am here in the middle of the fight again?  Lack of discipline. 

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In the Midst of Life be Disciplined.

Yes I have made it to my goal weight before a few times.  Every time I fought like crazy to get there and was so happy every time I reached my goals.  So how did I get here again?  The fact is every time I reached my goal I did not maintain my healthy choices and exercise habits.  At first I did, just because it was habit and it felt good to work out. It wouldn’t take long before life would happen and one missed work out would become two and so on. Then before I knew it I was buying larger size clothes and feeling sorry for myself again.  So what I have learned the hard way is I have to maintain the healthy choices and exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. So no matter what life brings my way I cannot let it distract me from being disciplined.  

 

How do you stay disciplined?  What is the hardest part of staying disciplined for you? Please share your tips and struggles in the comments below.  I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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How are you being self caring?  If you are like me and you are on a journey to a more healthier you, you may have already learned that this involves a lot of self care.  Working out, healthy eating and meal prep are all ways that you are taking care of yourself.  I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite ways to be self caring.  I love to listen to Podcasts that are about personal growth, health and happiness.  

Here are a few of my favorite podcasts.  Just click on the images below to give them a listen.

:

Want to learn ways to get happier?  Then happier with Gretchen Rubin is for you.  She co-hosts with her little sister and they give great advice and life hacks to help you manage your day to day life.  Anywhere from conquering “dump zones’ to answering questions sent in from listeners.  There is definitely a lot of value to this one.

Dr. Jen Riday has something really special with this show.  She brings on successful women to share their stories and give you tips to live by to help you live more happily.  One of my favorite parts of the show is towards the end of the interview Dr. Riday asks her guests some great questions.  She asks them “what is your favorite kitchen gadget?, what is the best advice you ever received, and what would you challenge my listeners to do?”  These are just a few but they are great and thought provoking and the challenges at the end are really nice.  I suggest listening to this one with a pen and paper for some notes! 

Last but certainly not least is The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes.  This Podcast is definitely one of my favorites.  I have been listening for a while and I can tell you that Lewis brings some amazing guests on.  Some of my favorites have been Tony Robbins, Mel Robbins (no relation, that I know of), and JP Sears just to name a few.  He also does small podcasts with quick motivational speeches that I absolutely love.  One of his Five Minute Friday Podcasts literally was the reason I started my blog.  You can click here to listen to it:Episode 459 – Set a Big Goal  I listened to it every morning for a little over a week.  I have it saved so when I feel frustrated with my weight loss or any life goals I can get my mind right again. 

I hope you enjoyed these podcasts as much as I do.  They are so full of valuable information and are really helpful to me not only with regards to weight loss but every day life.  Do you have a favorite Podcast that teaches and motivates you?  I would love to hear about it in the comments below. 

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So you are having a stellar week and then it happens.  You fall off the wagon and it is food palooza! The first thing to hit you is the guilt and you feel like a failure. You think to yourself this is just too hard and for an instant you are really considering throwing in the towel. This is where you need to pull yourself together.

Don’t dwell in the guilt.  Don’t stay there in that place.  Pick yourself back up and get back to your healthy lifestyle.  You can get back on track!

Here are some tips to get back on track:

  • Journal about it.  Write down the offense and tell yourself that you are forgiven. What you tell a friend if this happened to them?  Be just as kind to yourself as you would to your friend. 
  • Workout, go for a run, grab a friend and go for a walk, or do some Yoga to refocus.  Exercise is a natural anti-depressant and will help you get out of your funk and get over that guilt. 
  • Fill out a workout calendar for the week.  Taking any kind of action, even just planning it out is going to help you get back to it.  
  • Meal Planning/Prepping.  Planning out some healthy meals will help you get your head back in the game.
  • Tell someone what your plans are to get yourself back on track.  Sharing your plan will help keep you accountable.

 

In addition to overcoming the guilt we have when we have a slip up we have to remember that this is our life. We want to live the best, healthy life we can everyday, but there are going to be times to indulge.  We just have to be in control at those times and plan for them the best we can.  

What are some ways that you that you get back on track and overcome guilt?  Please share your tips in the comments, as always I would love to hear from you!

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Oh the deliciousness that is Halo Top Ice Cream! Well at least the birthday cake flavor so far!  I love ice cream, it is one of my absolute favorite treats!  So when I heard that there was a low fat, low calorie ice cream that actually tasted good, I had to try it.  Let me tell you all of the rumors were absolutely true! It is delicious! The texture is a little different from your high fat and high calorie ice creams but the flavor is there.  If you have ever tried some of the other low or no fat ice creams there is no comparison.  The other ones taste like cardboard but Halo Top is really quite yummy.  Check out the nutrition facts in the pic below:

What is that?  Protein and Fiber! If you eat the whole pint you get 12 grams of fiber and 24 grams of protein.  Other ice creams do not do that.  Click here to check out the nutrition facts in this article comparing Haagen Dazs Ice Cream to their frozen yogurt:Health Castle.com Nutrition Face-Off To put this in perspective for you it would take about 4 pints of Halo Top to equal the amount of calories and fat in regular ice cream.

 

It is just becoming available in most grocery stores, so you if you haven’t seen it yet I am sure you will soon.  I know that the Whole Foods here in Florida was the first place to carry it, but it is making it’s way out to your local grocery store.  I just found it in mine this week!  If you have no luck in the store, you can always go straight to their website athttps://www.halotop.com

While I do have affiliation links on my blog I am not in any way affiliated with Halo Top Ice Cream.  I do not receive any type of payment or commission by telling you about it.  I am just a girl, looking for ice cream that I can eat and still stay on track with my healthy lifestyle.  Now you know it is out there too! 

What amazing low fat, low cal treats do you know about?  I would love to know about them so please share them with me in the comments. Feel free to put links to some healthy treat recipes.  (Especially a healthy low fat chocolate chip cookie! I would love that!) I look forward to hearing from you!

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