Maya Fit Girl

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3 Ways to To Prevent Bloat March 2, 2015

Filed under: Beauty,Fitness,Food — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:30 am
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healthy-digestion

For years I battled with digestive issues- you know that bloated feeling you get after eating a big meal? Well, imagine feeling that pain and bloat all day everyday. The only time I felt relief was first thing in the morning before food consumption would begin.  That pain was the main reason why I had little to no appetite and would only be able to eat once or twice a day.  I always felt full, so my brain never sent the message to my stomach that I needed to eat.  Until I decided to make these three changes:

Eat Healthier

This was the easiest part for me. Since I barely ate anyway, I really didn’t have to “give up” any bad foods that were in my diet at the time.  But what I did have to do was create a healthy meal plan.  A plan which would force me to eat at least five times per day- starting with a healthy breakfast (like oatmeal, eggs and blueberries), a healthy snack (like granola and Greek yogurt), a good lunch (like a spinach salad with dried cranberries, feta cheese, pecans, salmon, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing), another snack (like sliced apples with peanut butter), and a small dinner (like asparagus and tilapia).

Adding these healthy items not only jump started my appetite, but they also provided enough protein and fiber to help prevent bloat. Oh, and not to mention at least a gallon of water to help with digestion. Speaking of water…

Stay Hydrated

I wasn’t drinking nearly enough water as I should have.  Once I increased my water intake, the bloat slowly, but surely started to go away. But the most effective way I have found to help ease my stomach pain and increase regularity, is to drink water hot or room temperature water with lemon. There are many benefits to drinking water in this way, but the most important ones are aiding in digestion and flushing out toxins, which are key in keeping the intestines and colon healthy. (Take Somaya’s 7 Day Water Challenge here.)

Enzymes Everyday

As my diet is current high in fiber and protein, I found that taking digestive enzymes at least once per day helped my body breakdown those foods to help prevent bloat. Fiber is non digestible and unabsorbable within the intestines. This means that it can travel through the intestinal tract having the potential to clog things up. The enzymes break it down to allow for normal digestion and decreased bloat.

Sometimes a great deal of our health problems can be solved by changing our diet.  Do you research, find what works for you, and watch how your body reacts. You deserve to feel good…make it happen!

Be sure to check out my Fit Girl by Maya website today for more fitness information- recipes, workouts, videos, apparel, and more!

 

 

Photo by: http://www.BanyanBotanicals.com

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Moms, Try These Healthy Kid-Friendly Lunch Alternatives February 16, 2015

Filed under: Fitness,Food,Health — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Colourful healthy salad sandwich

I always talk about being more creative when keeping with a  more healthier meal plan for both moms and kids.  For kids, creativity is key, but being creative while not being too different from what they are used to, is the hard part. Here are three standard lunch favorites made healthier.

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

You can’t get anymore standard than the ol’ PB&J. While we usually use peanut butter high in sugar content, why not use an all-natural peanut butter (or any other all-natural nut butter)? All-natural peanut butters have no added sugars and are made with only peanuts and an oil, usually flaxseed or palm oil. For your jelly, use a one that contains 100% fruit and no high-fructose corn syrup. Two easy changes that will go virtually unnoticed.

2. Turkey Sandwich

Using lean, low or no-fat turkey meat with mustard, which contains zero sugars and zero fats with whole grain bread, makes this sandwich a great option for a lunch time main item.

3. Kid-Approved Chicken Salad

Using chunky bits of leftover chicken mixed with Greek yogurt, raisins or dried cranberries, shredded carrots and sliced almonds mixed together and served  in a whole grain pita-bread pocket is a great alternative to chicken or tuna salad with crackers.

Don’t be afraid to take chances and have fun with food. The kids will love it and love you for making delicious and nutritious meals for them everyday.

 

 

 

Photo by: MindBeautyHealth.wordpress.com

 

How Much Protein is Enough? January 5, 2015

Filed under: Exercise,Food,Uncategorized — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:19 am

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[As originally contributed to ThisFitsMe.com on Sept. 27, 2014]

Many of you have heard that when you lead an active lifestyle, adding more protein to your diet is very necessary. But rarely do we hear about the specific reasons why protein is important.

So what’s so great about protein?  Well, for starters, protein is contained in every one of our cells, which helps to aid in growth, supports our immune system, metabolism, and performance. So what does that mean? Basically, that means that protein is needed to help repair cells and make new ones. We consume protein, which is digested in our bodies, amino acids (used in enzyme and hormone production) are released and absorbed my other tissues to make new proteins.

Now that you know what proteins do, how much do you need to have everyday? Well, that depends on how much activity you do on a daily basis.  If, for instance, you’re not very active, meaning you may run errands here and there, but you don’t have a regular fitness routine, you should consume about .4 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you’re 130 pounds that would mean about 52 grams of protein daily.

If you have decided that you would like to become more active and are increasing your daily physical activity, you should consume about .6 grams of protein per pound. So, for that same 130 pound woman, that would be 78 grams of protein per day.

But, if you are looking to add muscle mass and gain strength and have significantly increased your daily physical activity, you should consume about .9 grams of protein per pound. That works out to 117 grams of protein per day.

Why is protein consumption so important when trying to lose weight? It’s simple, proteins satisfy hunger and help to prevent hunger pangs, while stabilizing blood sugar levels and supporting healthy hormones necessary for your metabolism.  Proteins allow our bodies to use more energy burn protein than carbs or fat. Most people who are on high protein diets, rarely count calories because most of their calories come from proteins than any other source.

So how does protein consumption aid in weight loss? Proteins keep you feeling full, even with a decreased total calorie intake. Unlike diets where you are decreasing your calories, but are in a constant state of hunger- that’s losing weight the wrong way. Before starting a new meal plan, be sure you are eating enough and eating the right things to keep your body fueled and running on the what it needs to function efficiently on a daily basis. You don’t want to be living off two salads a day and too weak and exhausted  to take care of the kids because you’re starving yourself. Love yourself enough to take care of yourself the healthy way.

 

 

 

Posted by: http://www.stylevitae.com

 

Oatmeal Is Not Just For the Kids December 29, 2014

Filed under: Fitness,Food,Uncategorized — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:12 am
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[As originally contributed to ThisFitsMe.com on Sept. 18, 2014]

With Winter here, I really start craving oatmeal.  I love everything about it- it make me feel so warm on a cold morning, it makes me full until my next meal, and not only is it healthy for you (not the instant kind), but you can add other healthy things to make it even more delicious. Here are three awesome ways I love to make my oatmeal during the cold months:

Oatmeal Strawberries and Cream

What you will need:

1 cup of quick oats

1 cup of water

small saucepan

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1 tbs honey

1/4 cup sliced strawberries

Boil one cup of water over medium heat. Add oats once water comes to a boil. Stir oats and remove from heat. Stir in Greek yogurt, honey and strawberries…and you’re ready to have a super healthy, tasty breakfast! 

Nutty Oatmeal with Mango and Toasted Coconut

What you will need:

1 cup of quick oats

1 cup of water

small saucepan

baking sheet

2 tbs unsweetened flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped mango (I used frozen)

2 tbs chopped cashews

Optional- 1 tbs brown sugar

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spread coconut on baking sheet and toast until golden for 3-5 minutes. Boil one cup of water over medium heat. Add oats once water comes to a boil. Stir oats and remove from heat. Stir in mangoes, coconut, and brown sugar and then you have tropical goodness!

This next one you can enjoy all year round, including the summertime!

Banana ‘n Coconut Overnight Oats

What you will need:

2/3 cup quick or steel cut oats

2/3 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk

1 banana (sliced)

dash of cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

2 tbs unsweetened flaked coconut

1 banana (sliced)

3 tbs chopped walnuts (optional)

In a small mason jar the  night before, combine the first six ingredients in a small mason jar. Shake it up pretty good with the lid still on. Place in the refrigerator. Top with bananas and walnuts the next morning just before eating. You can eat this oatmeal cold or throw it in the microwave for about 45 seconds. It take great either way! 

Don’t just stick with these recipes. Be creative and try out different fruits or nuts to add to your oatmeal. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. It can be just amazing as you are!

 

 

Photo by: http://www.galleryhip.com

 

How to Eat Healthy at Fast Food Restaurants September 29, 2014

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[As originally contributed to ThisFitsMe.com on 8/12/14]

We all have been through the scenario where we are pressed for time, we don’t have our prepared meals with us, running errands has taken longer than usual, and our stomach is starting to sound like a grizzly bear. We are down to our last resort—the fast food drive thru.

Here are a few healthy ways to navigate the fast food menu at various restaurants:

Subway

  • Six inch veggie sandwich on the 9 grain whole wheat with spinach and not regular lettuce, it packs more fiber and the essential vitamins needed to reenergize you. Season with a little oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Oven Roasted Chicken salad or the Double Chicken Chopped Salad has everything you need to fill you up without the guilt. You can choose all the veggies you want and add chopped chicken breast. Remember to choose spinach as your leafy green and oil and vinegar as your dressing.

Chik-Fil-A

  • Chik-Fil-A has just added Grilled Chicken Sandwich to their menu. I love that it’s on a multi-grain bun and is seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper. Sea salt is a better salt option than table salt because it is an all-natural mineral while table salt is heavily processed and contains additives.
  • The Grilled Market Salad is another one of their grilled chicken options, packed full of protein and tons of veggies, including Romaine lettuce and baby greens. The red, and green apples, strawberries, and blueberries adds the sweetness and natural sugars you need to replenish body with energy. I would suggest having this salad before noon to give you plenty of time to burn off the extra sugar.

Wendy’s

  • Try the Grilled Chicken Wrap (found on the value menu), but remove the tortilla and ask for a side of sliced apples. Both will give you the fuel you need to keep going until you get home for your next meal.
  • The Ultimate Chicken Grill sandwich can be eaten open-faced (with only one slice of bread) or with no bread at all. Ask for it without the honey mustard, which cuts the fat intake in half.

For your beverage at any fast food restaurant, choose water, unsweetened iced tea, black coffee or hot tea (no sugar). Don’t ruin your progress with sugar-filled drinks. They don’t quench your thirst and they are bad for you — diet cola, or not.

Although making your own food is the best option, you don’t have to starve or deny yourself food just because you think you don’t have options while out of the house. It is better to eat the healthy options from fast food restaurants, than to skip a meal. Just keep in mind that you can remove or order your food without the condiments or things that would be considered unhealthy.

Take your health in your own hands. You are in control, so make the right decisions that will help you reach your health and fitness goals.

 

All-Natural Skin Care & Cellulite Reduction Scrub September 9, 2014

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[As originally contributed to http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on 8/5/14]

While we are busy working out and eating healthy, let’s not neglect our skin. Eating clean, all-natural foods is a start to having a healthy body on the inside, but what about the outside?  Our skin is the largest organ of our body and is able to absorb anything we put on it.  Once I really understood that fact, I  began to change my daily skincare regimen.

I went from using chemical-filled facial cleansers to making my own.  I now use this really simple recipe to make facial scrub.  Take one cup of  unmelted virgin coconut oil and one cup of baking soda soda. Mix in a bowl with a fork until well combined and store in a glass mason jar.  I use a very small amount (about a nickel size) every morning and every night. Coconut oil helps strengthen underlying tissues and helps remove excessive dead cell on the skin’s surface that makes your skin rough and flaky. The baking soda is just the right amount of coarseness for removing the top layer of dead skin cells, without causing your sensitive facial skin to become red and irritated. (If you’ve never used coconut oil on your skin, try it on a small test area of the face to ensure you are not allergic.)

I used to put Vaseline on my skin to keep it moist and smooth, but when I realized that I was putting petroleum on my skin, which according to livestrong.com, the “side effects of petrolatum (petroleum jelly) include finding the petroleum byproduct in breast tumors, suffocation of the skin, premature aging and aggravated acne.” Um, no thanks! I recently switched to African shea butter after seeing a man shaving the shea butter out of a big shea nut with a huge knife. He was shaving the shea right into the container from which they were selling it. You can’t get any more natural than that! Needless to say, I bought a couple of containers of it on the spot.

Although I don’t drink coffee because the caffeine gives me a headache, I’ve found a great use for it. Once I began to notice the key ingredient in most cellulite-reducing lotions was caffeine,  I decided to make my own caffeine scrub.  Use half a cup of ground coffee, half a cup of raw sugar, one tablespoon of olive oil, two tablespoons of coconut oil, and one tablespoon of sea salt. Throw the dry ingredients in the bowl first, topped with the oils. Mix well and store in a glass container (mason jar is best). Add more coffee or sugar, depending on the consistency you prefer. Among many other things, caffeine dehydrates fatty cells and minimizes the appearance of cellulite. Who wouldn’t want that!

Fitness and health only starts with diet and exercise. Give these all-natural products and try and see what a difference it makes in your skin.

Take care of your body and your body will take care of you.

Be sure to visit www.FitGirlbyMaya.com for FREE recipes, workouts, and fitness apparel.

 

4 Ways to Boost Your Energy September 2, 2014

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(As contributed on http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on 7.29.14)

I don’t know about you, but there are some days when I feel like my energy levels have reached the lowest of the low.  These are times when I re-evaluate my day-to-day and try to find those things that may be my biggest energy drainers.

Here are the top 4 things that take up most of my energy!

1. No Skipping Allowed

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but sometimes we forget that fact.  Eating breakfast is like filling up your gas tank.  You can’t run all day when you start with no fuel, so begin your day with a healthy, hearty breakfast.  My favorite is oatmeal (not in the packets) with sliced bananas on top to give it a little sweetness and a couple of slices of whole wheat toast with an all-natural peanut butter spread.

This packs enough fiber, carbs, protein, and natural sugar to start your day off with the energy you need.

2. Just Say No

Generally, as women, we find it hard to say “no” to or decline an invitation to something we kind of don’t want to go to or have time for, but we do it anyway just to be polite.

I have started to change my response to things like that.  When asked to do something I may not have time for, I just say, “Let me check my schedule and I’ll get back to you.” Or if I already know I won’t be able to do it, I give a polite, “No, I won’t be able to attend.”

It’s your time, you are in control of it.

3. Eat Right

Stick to a healthy meal plan. Don’t be tempted by those foods that fill you up and energize you temporarily, but then leave you feeling hungry and tired a few minutes later.  Eat foods that give you real, lasting energy. Foods like lean meats, green vegetables, beans, fresh fruits…you know, natural, non chemically processed foods. Chemically processed foods are generally low in fiber and high in sugar. Did you know it takes more energy to burn processed foods, which can lead to decrease levels of energy?

Bottom line, eat real food to get real energy.

4. Get Your Sleep

The most important thing you can do, besides eating healthy, is to get the proper amount of rest.  Most people need at least seven hours of sleep, but I need about nine hours in order to wake up energized.  Sleep restores your mind, body and spirit.

Having that time to re-energize helps you function better throughout your day.  If you can’t get enough sleep at night, try to get a nap in during your lunch break or at home while the baby is sleeping (Don’t worry, you can do the laundry later!) and BONUS…being well rested aids in fat loss.

In other words, get some sleep!

“If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be strong enough to take care of anything in your life.” – Leon Brown

 

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*Photo credit by http://www.oprah.com

 

 
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