Maya Fit Girl

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5 Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil February 23, 2015

Filed under: Beauty,Woman — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:47 am
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Coconut oil and its million uses has become a trending topic in the healthy living lifestyle.  Coconut has  been dubbed a “superfood” by many and “lifesaver” by many more.  The fat in coconut oil has many health and fitness benefits, as it is digested and absorbed in the body much faster than other fats and is stored as energy, not fat. Yes, please!

In scientific studies, coconut oil has been shown to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Coconuts also have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. In case you haven’t been sold on coconut oil yet, here are 5 great uses for the coconut…

1. Use for baking

Next time you make your favorite brownie or cake recipe, replace the vegetable oil with coconut oil. It creates the same texture as vegetable oil does, except it adds a more flavorful taste.  The kids will love it!

2. Use to make popcorn

First, add the coconut oil and popcorn to a heavy bottomed pot. Coat the inside of the pot with the oil and use just enough popcorn to make a single layer over the bottom of the pot. Shake the pot a bit to make sure all of the kernels are coated with oil. Next, place the pot over medium heat. Put a lid on the pot, leaving it  open slightly so that steam can escape. It should take about five minutes for the popcorn to pop completely. Toss or drizzle the popcorn with more coconut oil.

3. Use on bug bites

The natural pain relief properties of coconut oil is great to use directly on skin irritations and rashes like bug bites, poison ivy,and sunburn. Rub the oil on the affected area and let the sweet relief begin.  Keep a little jar of of it in your purse and you’ll alway be ready for those days at the pool, park, or soccer field with the kids.

4. Use to replace butter

Whether you’re make grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids or “buttering” their toast, a dollup of coconut oil is a healthier alternative to butter.

5. Use as a diaper cream

Coconut oil is a natural antibacterial that helps to soothe that stubborn diaper rash. So, the next time baby first shows signs of a diaper rash, slather on a layer of coconut oil to combat that itchy rash. As a bonus, use as a full body moisturizer to keep skin soft and supple…for you and baby.

Though there are thousands of great uses for coconut oil, I hope you found these five to be useful in your daily life.  There are always healthier alternatives to the foods we love and  most of the skin creams we use.  Take care of yourself and your children by getting to know those alternatives and choosing to live healthier in any way you can.

*Please note, if you or your baby have never used coconut oil before, be sure to test a small area of the skin to test for allergies.

 

Be sure to check me out at my website- Fit Girl by Maya

 

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

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Rise and Exercise! December 22, 2014

Filed under: Exercise,Uncategorized,Woman — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:08 am

 

Young woman laying on bed

[As originally contributed to ThisFitsMe.com on Sept. 18, 2014]

As moms, we really have to be creative when trying to fit in our workouts. Sometimes it’s not the actual workout, but the getting ready that takes up most of our time. I like to workout first thing in the morning, but doing so takes a lot of work- wake up before the kids, find and put on exercise clothes, find and put on socks and shoes, make my pre-workout drink, get to the gym/head outside/walk to the exercise room (or wherever you go to workout), all while still half-sleep.

So, what can you do to quickly get ready for your morning workout? Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Make your pre-workout drink the night before, if applicable
  • Place your gym shoes and socks on the floor beside your bed
  • Sleep in the clothes you’re going to work out in

Don’t make the mistake, like I did one time, when I went to bed in flannel jammies- not a pretty sight, drenched in sweat on the treadmill.  Luckily, my treadmill is at home! So, be sure to sleep in shorts and a tank top. Since it is about to be winter time, I will opt to put on jammie pants or sweats over my shorts and a long sleeved shirt over my tank to sleep in. As long as my workout clothes are on, I’m good.

Having the ability to just roll out of bed, slip on my socks and shoes and grab my pre-workout out of the fridge, better enables me to function in my 6:30 a.m. comatose state.  By the time I finish my five minute treadmill warm-up, I’m halfway awake!

Ladies, as long as you prepare and plan, you will succeed.  Stay positive, be creative, and know you are worth the time you put into your fit life!

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

 

Be Confident In Yourself, Flaws and All December 8, 2014

Filed under: Beauty,Woman — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:14 am
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[As originally posted on http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on Sept. 11, 2014]

“It’s called self-esteem.  Esteem of your [motherf@#$ing] self” – Kat Williams

You are the only one who can control how you feel about you.  The messages received from people, whether verbal or non verbal, direct or indirect can have an effect on your self-image.  If you see a model on a magazine cover and you immediately feel less pretty, it’s not the model or the magazine that “makes” you feel that way, it’s your own self.

When one of your kids comments on how big your belly is, it’s not their fault you all of a sudden feel fat. Let’s take control of our esteem and be confident in ourself no matter how many pounds we have gained or how much cellulite we see on our thighs. Own it, love it, and if you don’t like it, do something about it. Just don’t let it define you and be a source of negativity for you.

In light of all the recent news surrounding domestic violence, we all need a wake up call when it comes to our self-esteem.  Never let anyone treat you like you’re nothing. You deserve to be happy and not sad all of the time. You deserve to be loved and not torn down on a daily basis. You deserve to be hugged and not beaten on the regular. You deserve to live freely and not in fear. No matter what you look like or what flaws you may have, it gives no one the right abuse you, mentally OR physically.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. – Psalm 130:14

 

 

Photo by:  www.mindbodygreen.com

 

De-Stress! Try Some Yoga October 20, 2014

Filed under: Beauty,Bodybuilding,Cardio,Exercise,Woman — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:26 am

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[As originally contributed to http://www.ThisFitsMe.com on Aug, 26, 2014]

Now that school is back in session for our kiddos, we need to find time for ourselves to de-stress. Though we’d love to relieve our minds and relax our bodies while melting into the couch with a pint of dulce de leche ice cream, let’s try something a bit more healthy.

Yoga is the perfect way to relax your mind, body and spirit while getting in a little strength exercise. If you’ve never tried yoga, you don’t know what you’re missing. There are various styles to choose from, but my favorite for relaxation is hatha yoga. This style moves slower through the poses and holds them longer, thus building flexibility and muscle strength, especially in your core (abdominals).

Here are three more benefits yoga has for your body and spirit:

 Better Posture

As your core gets stronger and your flexibility improves, your posture automatically improves. Practicing yoga with all of its standing and sitting poses will make you more aware of your body. You will begin to correct yourself when slouching, preventing back pain, which can cause headaches, which can lead to stress. And no one likes to be stressed!

Learn to Breathe

With each pose you do in yoga, you practice a special breathing technique that helps your body get centered, calm, and relax deeper than you’ve ever relaxed before. This would really come in handy for those times you walk into the kitchen and see the kids with their legos all over the floor, the dog tracking mud in from the backyard, and the roast burning in the oven… Inhale through the noise, exhale through the mouth.

 Meditation

Usually at the end of every yoga session, especially hatha, you will spend about five to ten minutes in deep meditation. While in a lying or seated position, you will close your eyes, clear your mind, and drift away to a place that is quiet and peaceful. A place with no runny noses, no whining, no piles of laundry, no rush hour traffic…just simple peace and quiet. Ahhhh…

Yoga will give you the tools you need to de-stress while navigating real life. We take on a lot of responsibilities and need all we can to help us get through each day. Why not add a little relaxation into your fitness routine?

 

Photo by: http://www.myyogaonline.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.

 

Don’t Get Discouraged…You Can Do It September 22, 2014

Filed under: Exercise,Family,Fitness,Health,Woman — Maya Fit Girl @ 12:04 pm
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Living a healthy lifestyle is not easy, especially if you are a mom. We have about 10,000 things on our daily to do list and we are usually very close to the bottom. With so much to do and so much to keep up with, how can we keep aligned with our fitness goals.

Taking time to prepare our weekly meals, plan our workout routines, and then actually carry them out is hard, but we must not get overwhelmed. That feeling of being overwhelmed is what ultimately makes us keep quitting and starting over. We get so excited to start a new plan and reach new goals, but when we see how much work it will take, how much temptation we are faced with, and how little time we have, we give up…until we get tired of unhealthy ways and start the cycle all over again.

Here are five ways I keep myself from getting stressed out and overwhelmed.

1. Take it one day at a time

Try not to think about how many days it is going to take to reach your fitness goals. Just know it won’t happen over night. Period. Each day is a new opportunity to stick to your plan, don’t worry that you may have to eat the same lunch for three or four weeks. Concentrate on today.

2. Talk to yourself

There are times when I am faced with life-changing dilemmas (well, maybe not that dramatic)- should I take a bite of this muffin my son left on the counter or can I wait til my next meal? This is where I have to have a conversation with myself—sometimes out loud. I say, “Will this bite of muffin get me closer to my goal of placing 1st in my next competition?” or “Are the added calories, fat, and sugar worth it to my body and what I am trying to accomplish?” Usually after I ask myself those questions, I’ll throw the muffin away (but not without inhaling the smell of it for about 30 seconds).

3. Find an alternative

When I get a craving for a chocolate bar, fries, or things like that, I have to become creative and figure out a healthy alternative. If suddenly I want a Reese’s peanut butter cup, I will pull out the blender and make a choco-peanut butter smoothie made with unsweetened almond milk, chocolate whey protein, a tablespoon of peanut butter and ice. Voila! Craving, satisfied.

For fries, I would slice a sweet potato long ways, drizzle a little olive oil over them and sprinkle on a little sea salt and bake them for about 25 minutes. Yum!

4. Get busy

The times where I am most likely to want unhealthy foods are when I am bored. I’m sitting on the couch watching some random, waste of time show and start wanting some potato chips with hot sauce on top. As soon as I get that feeling, I immediately turn off the television and head to the gym. If I have already worked out, I will start cleaning some area of the house, read a book or magazine or go outside with the kids. There’s always something to do other than stuffing your face with the wrong foods and then feeling bad about it later.

5. Get your own space

I found that when my food is mixed in with the family’s food in the cabinets and refrigerator, I am more likely to want the foods I am not supposed to have. If I see my son’s chocolate chip cookies next to my raw almonds, the almonds may get left on the shelf—not good. So, I decided to have my own cabinet in the kitchen allocated for all of my food items. I even have my own refrigerator in the garage. That way I won’t eat foods not on my plan and my family won’t eat up all my food, mistakenly. The key is out of sight out of mind.

No one said being healthy was easy, as long as you remember your goals, take things one day at a time, and be conscious of the decisions you make, you will make it through. Be patient with yourself and you will be successful.

 

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

 

Don’t Be Afraid of the Weights September 16, 2014

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

Recently, I hosted a fitness workshop and found that all of the women in attendance exclusively had cardio in their daily routine with Zumba being the favorite.  Zumba is fun and gets your heart pumping, running for miles and miles really improves your endurance, running on the elliptical and treadmill are great for the legs, but what about weight training?

There is a myth, among many women, that lifting weights is a man thing or that if you lift too much, you will end up with the physique like a man. Let me let you in on a little secret…both are false. Women have been lifting weights for just as long as men and the only way that you will end up with the body like that of a man is if you are taking steroids and/or lots of testosterone.

Incorporating strength training into you workout creates a great balance for the body.  Adding a little muscle to can help fill out the body and, depending on how heavy or light you lift, can really get you the curves you desire.  And just know that lifting weights doesn’t mean that you start with a 300 pound barbell. If you are not looking to achieve that ripped, super defined look, lift light, yet challenging weights for longer repetitions (reps). For instance, curl 10 pound dumbbells for 20 reps, instead of 35 pound dumbbells for 10 reps.

Aside from gaining muscle tone, here are five other reasons you should start lifting weights.

1. Lifting Burns that Baby Fat

High intensity lifting and metabolic training stimulates lipolysis or the fat breakdown and release and increases the body’s metabolism hours after your workout is complete. You not only burn calories during your weight training session, but you’ll continue to burn calories long afterwards.

Your body becomes strong, defined, and lean. No more will you feel ashamed or lack self-confidence when you are naked.  You will look and feel better than you did before you had your baby!

2. Post-Workout Burn

A high intensity lifting session burns approximately 500 calories per hour and boosts your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the minimum number of calories your body burns at rest, working out, or lying down.

What this means is that you not only burn calories while working out, you also continue to burn them up to 24 hours afterwards. The more intense you lift, the more you burn through your boosted metabolism.

This also means that the more muscle you gain, the less fat you’ll have. The less fat you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Gaining muscle gets you lean and keeps you lean.

3.  Prevents Your Metabolism From Declining

As we increase with age our metabolism typically decreases, starting around the age of 30.  To prevent this from happening, incorporate frequent weight training in your fitness life.

With your metabolic rate elevated, you will stay in shape well after the kids leave the house!

4.  Improves Posture

Lifting weights strengthens your muscles, including your back, neck, shoulders, and core (abdominal area).  Strength in these areas helps you to stand up taller, improve your posture, preserve the spine and reduces back pain.

Who wouldn’t want to look strong and confident on a daily basis?

5.  Reduces Stress and Improves Mood

Exercise and weight training release endorphins- neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and enhance pleasure.  Endorphins are released during long workouts where the intensity is moderate to high and breathing is difficult.

With all of that release going on, your stress levels decrease, along with any anxieties and depression. You begin to feel happy with each breathless set you complete! The kids love it when you smile, so should you.

Being strong is not a “man thing.” Being strong is what you are everyday and in everything you do. Believe that.

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

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

 

 
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