I Rocked Sausalito’s 35th Annual Chili Cook-Off

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Lets Talk 
Sausalito’s 35th Annual Chili Cook-Off

I did it! My chili was tasty, my booth was creative, I networked with local residences, and I faced my fears. Enjoy the pictures… 
I cut up all of my vegetables the night before which was genius.

I’m so proud of myself for being brave and fearless. I got a good night sleep Friday night, woke up ready to seize the day and cook some chili. After 5 trips to the car and two stops for ice I finally showed up to the Dunphy Park, where the cook-off took place. 
As soon as I arrived everything got that much real(er). I realized I was about to cook 15 gallons of chili all by myself, which didn’t seem like a big deal until I saw the other teams had at least 8-15 people helping and I was all alone.

I unloaded my car and set up my “kitchen” area, then started browning my meat, which took about an hour.
After all the meat was done, it was time to cook my vegetables, that took 20 minutes.

Then it was time to add beans, tomatoes, and seasonings. By the time all of my ingredients were added it was past 10am and my friend arrived ready to work.

We spent the next hour setting up my booth.

Before I could take a deep breath it was time to serve chili. I wasn’t able to taste my chili but my helper and my customers let me know it was delicious.

I spent the next 4 hours passing out chili, talking about my business and networking with Sausalito residences.
My chili was amazing. It had a smoky flavor that wasn’t intimidating or too spicy. I also set out mild cheddar cheese, sour cream, and my famous hot sauce that I made the day before. I had an overwhelming response to my chili and my booth. People kept coming back for more chili, most of the day there was a line for my booth. At least 50 people told me I had the best chili at the event. I ran out of chili 45 minutes before the event was over. The people next to me had at least a few gallons left over, but not me, I had to scrape the bottom of my pots.
Sadly I didn’t place, I didn’t win any prizes, but that wasn’t the point. I won in my mind. I faced a fear and accomplished something out of my comfort zone. I met people, I passed out positive affirmations, I made wonderful connections, and I did it all by myself.

By the end of the day I was pooped.
The breakdown

I plan on participating in the Chili Cook Off next year. I am proud of myself for taking on such a big challenge. When I first arrived at the park I didn’t want to unpack the car, I was nervous, a little scared, and very intimidated. But I thought about all of you. I thought about all the positive affirmations I post on my blog, how I tell people to get uncomfortable, be brave, try new things and believe in yourself, which is exactly what I did and it paid off. Now I know I can do anything I put my mind to.

I can’t wait to see what I get myself into next.



Are you Ready for some Chili and a Fox


Today is the day before the big day, and I’m feeling the pressure. Most of my crafting is done but I still have some important components to create.
This posting is going to be short in sweet, the next time we get together I will have tons to talk about and pictures to share.
So far this has been a positive process, I’m scared shitless, but I’m not telling anyone how nervous I am. The plan is to get all my computer stuff done by 8am then finish my crafting my 10am and leave the house by 10:30 to get shirts made, pick up all ingredients for my chili, grab my propane stove from Party Central and any other last minute things I’ll need.
Lets Talk about Chili Cook-Off Crafts
 First try on Crayon Poster

 Second try on Crayon Poster 

 Third try on Crayon Poster 

 New business cards
 Origami hearts and paper airplanes will be hung like streamers around my booth
 Creative card holder, a slinky
Lets talk about Animal Sightings
I was in my kitchen yesterday making origami hearts when I felt something watching me. I looked up and a fox and chilling in my herb garden looking straight at me. I jumped, frozen with fear and surprise, then my mind kicked in and I reached for my iphone to grab a pic. Of course the fox retreated as soon as I was ready to capture its soul with my camera.
When I called animal control they told me to enjoy the fox. They are locals, just like me, plus they are very very shy, fox’s usually don’t attack. Ummmm Ok. I’m still not sure how I feel about it,it’s super cool and a lil creepy.
Time to hit it friends!

Life Hacks


Wow! What a week. Its almost over, but I need a few more days.
Everything is coming along slowly, my website needs a little more love, my chili recipe isn’t finalized yet, and I have 2-3 additional craft projects to finish before tomorrow. Not to mention prepping 5 pounds of onions, making my own hot sauce, and trying to stay positive and not loose it.
I went to bed a little early last night, this morning I was up with the sun, ready to tackle another day, and get ahead of the game.
Lets Talk about Life Hacks
I am an avid Pinterst user. 

At first I didn’t understand pins and boards but now I’m a fan that can’t live without it. I found this awesome list and had to share it with all of you.
Figure out someone’s name with this easy trick
When you forget someone’s name, say “What was your name again?” They’ll respond with their first name, albeit somewhat hurt that you forgot. Then emphatically reply, “No, no, your lastname.” Much relieved, they’ll happily oblige. You now have their first and last name without insulting them. Works every time
Use Lip balm to heal small shaving nicks
 Rubber bands open stubborn jars

Get rid of yellow armpit stains with stuff you already have around your house
·      Mix one part dawn with two parts hydrogen peroxide.
·      Pour mixture over stain and let sit for one hour. You can also add baking soda and scrub lightly for harder stains. Wash as usual and stains will be gone like magic.
 A fan and some dryer sheets quickly destinkify a   

stinky room
Figure out which side your exit is on immediately
On the first day/week/month of school, save your
schedule as your phone’s lock screen. 
Break in your flats in under 5 minutes

    • Put on thick socks, then your flats
    • Blow dry your shoes around the tight sections for a few minutes
    • Keep your socks/flats on while it cools
    • Test them out, repeat process if you need them more stretched out.
(pic of breaking in flats)
Put clear nail polish on the inside of your rings 
   Your fingers will be free from green stains
 Hang your purses with shower curtain hooks
Chill your white and red wine with frozen grapes
When you pack a suitcase, wrap your shoes in a shower cap
 Mount Cutlery trays to store your jewelry
 Glue old wine corks to a picture frame to make your own Cork board
Put your necklaces through a straw to keep the chain from tangling
I love these life hacks, it seems like they will make anyones life just that much easier.
It’s time to tackle another day. I’m off to the gym for an hour of cardio, then time to work, work work!
Blessings Friends
Mary ­

Feeding My Belly + Fitness Tips


It’s hump day, we are half way to the promise land.
I hit a milestone yesterday. I pushed out 20 miles in 1 hour on the spin bike. I even got fancy and started doing abdominal exercises on the bike. 
It seemed like a good idea at the time, now my abdominals feel like they are ripping apart. Today is my killa killa killa workout that can take up to 3 hours to complete. Always looking for an excuse to skip it, I’m not going to give in, I’m going to complete this workout and feel ‘Strong Like Bull‘ when I’m done. Looking forward to feeling the burn.
Lets Talk Healthy Cooking
I’ve been cooking a lot more lately. I’m enjoying creating new flavors and trying out new techniques. Plus I had a lot of left over cheese from my pizza excursion, this recipe uses both of the cheese I had in the fridge.
I’ve always wanted to know how to roast tomatoes. It was a lot easier that I thought it would be.
Oven Roasted Tomatoes
*Use a baking dish or pan big enough, do not crowd your tomatoes

*If you use a metal pan make sure its not aluminum that might react with acidic fruits
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
8-10 branches of fresh thyme
a few springs of fresh rosemary
fresh cracked salt and pepper
1 pound tomatoes, (8 small or 4 medium-sized)

   Preheat oven to 325°F

Pour Oil oil into a shallow baking dish or pan, add garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper

Cut tomatoes in half horizontally, remove stems, toss tomatoes with oil and seasonings, then lay them cut side down in dish

Bake for two hours, or until the tomatoes are completely softened, wilted and start to wrinkle.

*Depending on the tomatoes, they may take short or longer to cook.
All that work for this tasty meal

Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

I cut the recipe in half, since I was only feeding myself.
18 eggplant rounds ( ¼  inch thick at least 3 inches thick, about 3 eggplants)
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
3 plum tomatoes (about 1 ½ pounds) coarsely chopped
3 roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh oregano leaves, save some for garnish
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and torn into small pieces
3 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ( ¾ cup)
Crushed Red Pepper flakes
-Preheat oven to 425°F.
-Season eggplant rounds with salt
-Heat 1 cup olive oil in large skillet over med-high
-Working in batches, fry eggplant rounds, turning once, until soft and pale golden. 1 to 1 ½ -minutes per side, drain on paper towels
-Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in skillet over med-high, add garlic and cook 20 seconds (do not let brown)
-Add tomatoes and season with salt. Cook down, 10-15 minutes, stir in chopped oregano and basil.
-Place 6 slices of eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet, top each slice with 1 tablespoon sauce and a few pieces of mozzarella, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons Parmigiano-Regiano cheese.
-Repeat layering twice
-Bake until heated through and cheese is bubbling, serve immediately, garnished with more oregano and red pepper flakes
These came out freaking perfect. I snacked a little while cooking, so when it came time to eat dinner I could only eat one of these stacks of love. It was delicious. Can’t wait to devour the rest of these for lunch.
Per Serving: 573 calories, 51.77g fat (11.07g saturated fat) 27.22mg cholesterol, 19.96g carbohydrates, 12.8g proten, 10.33g fiber
Lets Talk Fitness Tips
I’m constantly worried about fueling my body correctly before and after my workouts. I know how it feels when I don’t eat the correct foods, and my body starts shutting down. It’s a feeling a dread and disappointed all because the pain is self inflicted. I vowed to myself never to overwork and under fuel myself again.
These lists are pretty cool, they are a great starting point for me.

I’m obessesed with flat abdominals. My stomachs been looking pretty good, but there is always room from improvement. I’m going to add these three exercises into my routine.
You can’t forget your cardio, this workout looks challenging and fun.

That’s all folks, time to get back to work…
References: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2012/05/oven-roasted-tomatoes-tomato-recipe/, Meatless: Clarkson Potter publishing 2013  

My First Pizza & Eliminating Recess

Yesterday was a great day, and I have a feeling today is going to be even better.

I was highly productive yesterday, making homemade pizza, eating clean all day, and working on my positive affirmation jar for the chili cook-off. Today is going to be filled with exercising, crafts, and cooking.

Lets Talk Health Cooking

I made my first pizza yesterday, and it was the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. No joke, I killed it, my boyfriend agrees, and he’s Italian. Not only was the pizza tasty, it was also meatless and healthy.

I’ve always been intimated by pizza, but not anymore, it’s simple and satisfying.

Mushroom and Leek Skillet Pizza

1 tablespoon plus

1 teaspoon olive-oil

¾ pound store brought organic pizza dough

purchased organic pizza dough from Trader Joes for $1.19

3 ounces fresh Mozzarella, thinly Sliced

purchased organic mozzarella cheese from Trader Joes for $3.59

1½ ounces finely grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

     purchased Pecorion  Romano Cheese from Trader Joes $3.50

1 Leek

1 garlic clove

2 cups sliced white mushrooms

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F
  2. Brush a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil
  3. Press dough flat in skillet, spreading to edges, if it retracts, let rest 5mins before continuing
  4. Brush a 1-inch border around edge with 1 teaspoon oil
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat
  6. Add 1 leek, thinly sliced crosswise and sliced garlic clove
  7. Cook until tender, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes
  8. Increase heat to med-high, add 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  9. Cook until tender about 2 more minutes, season with salt and pepper
  10. Place thinly sliced mozzarella Cheese evenly over dough
  11. Spread leek and mushroom mixture evenly
  12. Cook On Stove over medium-high heat until bottom is golden brown 4-5 minutes
  13. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano Cheese
  14. Transfer to oven, bake until edges of leeks and mushrooms darken, crust is golden and cooked through about 10 minutes

My Tips:

    • Season pizza dough with salt and pepper before you place mozzeralla cheese
    • Sprinkle a little crushed red pepper on pizza when done baking
    • I didn’t use all of my leek and mushroom mixture, do not over dress pizza
    • Kill it! This is sooo good.

Per serving: 326 calories, 11.2g fat (2.5g sat fat) 12.9 mg cholesterol, 43.12g carbohydrates, 18.76g protein, 4.12g fiber

Lets Talk NY Time Headlines

I am avid NY Times reader, ok maybe not avid, but I do read the front page while waiting for my Starbucks. It’s time for me to grow up and change all of that. Since you are joining me while I evolve, I hope I can inspire you to evolve and get more connect to the world.

At least once a week I will review an article from the NY times pertaining to health, fitness, and positive living.

This weeks article:

How Physical Fitness May Promote School Success

Phys Ed-September 18, 2013, 12:01 am
Children who are physically fit absorb and retain new information more effectively than children who are out of shape, a new study finds, raising timely questions about the wisdom of slashing physical education programs at schools.
Parents and exercise scientists (who, not infrequently, are the same people) have known for a long time that physical activity helps young people to settle and pay attention in school or at home, with salutary effects on academic performance. A representative study, presented in May at the American College of Sports Medicine, found that fourth- and fifth-grade students who ran around and otherwise exercised vigorously for at least 10 minutes before a math test scored higher than children who had sat quietly before the exam.
More generally, in a large-scale study of almost 12,000 Nebraska schoolchildren published in August in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers compiled each child’s physical fitness, as measured by a timed run, body mass index and academic achievement in English and math, based on the state’s standardized test scores. Better fitness proved to be linked to significantly higher achievement scores, while, interestingly, body size had almost no role. Students who were overweight but relatively fit had higher test scores than lighter, less-fit children.
To date, however, no study specifically had examined whether and in what ways physical fitness might affect how children learn. So researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently stepped into that breach, recruiting a group of local 9- and 10-year-old boys and girls, testing their aerobic fitness on a treadmill, and then asking 24 of the most fit and 24 of the least fit to come into the exercise physiology lab and work on some difficult memorization tasks.
Learning is, of course, a complex process, involving not only the taking in and storing of new information in the form of memories, a process known as encoding, but also recalling that information later. Information that cannot be recalled has not really been learned.
Earlier studies of children’s learning styles have shown that most learn more readily if they are tested on material while they are in the process of learning it. In effect, if they are quizzed while memorizing, they remember more easily. 
Straight memorization, without intermittent reinforcement during the process, is tougher, although it is also how most children study.
In this case, the researchers opted to use both approaches to learning, by providing their young volunteers with iPads onto which several maps of imaginary lands had been loaded. The maps were demarcated into regions, each with a four-letter name. During one learning session, the children were shown these names in place for six seconds. The names then appeared on the map in their correct position six additional times while children stared at and tried to memorize them.
In a separate learning session, region names appeared on a different map in their proper location, then moved to the margins of the map. The children were asked to tap on a name and match it with the correct region, providing in-session testing as they memorized.
A day later, all of the children returned to the lab and were asked to correctly label the various maps’ regions.
The results, published last week in PLoS One, show that, over all, the children performed similarly when they were asked to recall names for the map when their memorization was reinforced by testing.
But when the recall involved the more difficult type of learning — memorizing without intermittent testing — the children who were in better aerobic condition significantly outperformed the less-fit group, remembering about 40 percent of the regions’ names accurately, compared with barely 25 percent accuracy for the out-of-shape kids.
This finding suggests that “higher levels of fitness have their greatest impact in the most challenging situations” that children face intellectually, the study’s authors write. The more difficult something is to learn, the more physical fitness 
may aid children in learning it.
Of course, this study did not focus specifically on the kind of active exercise typical of recess, but on longer-term, overall physical fitness in young children. But in doing so, it subtly reinforces the importance of recess and similar physical activity programs in schools, its authors believe.
If children are to develop and maintain the kind of aerobic fitness that amplifies their ability to learn, said co-author Charles Hillman, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois and a fellow at the university’s Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, they should engage in “at least an hour a day” of vigorous physical activity. Schools, where children spend so many of their waking hours, provide the most logical and logistically plausible place for them to get such exercise, he said.
Or as he and his co-authors dryly note in the study: “Reducing or eliminating physical education in schools, as is often done in tight financial times, may not be the best way to ensure educational success among our young people.”

I am not a parent, but this article spoke to me. I don’t think physical education should be eliminated from schools no matter the cost.

What do you think?


References: New York Times, Sept 18, 2013, Gretchen Reynolds, Meatless: Clarkson Potter publishing 2013  

All-Star Breakfasts

Wow! What a weekend, fun, fun, fun, in the Sun, sun, sun.
If you couldn’t tell by the pictures I had a blast these last few days. It was pretty heartbreaking to see my Niners loose to the Colts, but that’s a long conversation that will keep away from my blog.
This week I have two things to focus on: The chili Cook-off and eating clean in preparation for my photo-shoot. I’ll be doing crafts for the next 5 days, and I’m excited about it. I love crafts, I like creating things with my hands, and putting my own spin on the design. I know my booth will stand out at the Cook-Off, and my chili will knock everybody off  his or her feet.
Clean eating isn’t going to be hard, but I’m going to be exercising a lot of disciple this week, while getting creative with my food choices.
Lets Talk A.M. All-Star breakfasts:
These breakfast recipes can curb PMS, battle a cold and even help you with your memory, on top of the fact that they are good for you, what not to enjoy.
Studies show that eating breakfast can reduce your risk of heart attack, help you stay fit, and increase your brainpower.
The Energy Source
To stay up beat all day, experts suggest small, low calorie meals rich in Vitamin C, Iron, complex carbs, and protein. Enjoy the smoothie first, then devour the a midmorning sandwich.
Super Smoothie:
½ cup orange juice
½ cup soy milk
½ cup fresh strawberries (stems removed)
Blend ingredients on high for 1 minute or until smooth

Jolt Sandwich:
1 slice whole-grain bread
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp honey
Spread almond butter on galf the bread and drizzle with honey. Fold over.
For Both: 340 cals, 13g fat, g sat fat, 48g carbs, 270mg sodium, 6g fiber, 11g protein
The Heart Saver
Fiber-rich cereal will your heart and stomach happy. *Remember to drink lots of water with and after your meals. WARNING: This breakfast has almost all the fiber you need for the day. If this is your first time eating bran-rich foods skip the raspberries at first, add them as your body adjusts.
½ cup high-bran cereal like All Bran or Bran Buds
¼ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup plan organic yogurt (contains more fiber then milk)
Pour Cereal in a large cup, top with fruit and yogurt
 Per Serving: 310 cal, 1g fat (0g sat fat), 67g carbs, 320mg sodium, 25g fiber, 12g protein
 The Muscle Maker
Researchers at the University of Memphis found that vitamin E – founding granola’s nuts, apricots, and oatmeal – speeds muscle recovery by fighting off free radicals that multiply when you workout. *Make a batch on Sunday and enjoy it for the rest of the week.
Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups plain oatmeal
½ cup almonds and hazelnuts
1/3  cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup canola oil
2 Tbsp orange juice
Dash of salt
¼ cup dried apricots diced
  • Preheat oven to 300°F and coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray
  • In large bowl mix oats, nuts, and seeds
  • In separate bowl stir honey, sugar, oil, juice, and salt together
  • Combine the 2 bowls and spread mixture on cookie sheet
  • Bake about 20 minutes or until evenly browned
  • Let cook
  • Stir in apricots then place granola in six airtight reseal-able plastic bags
Makes 6 servings
Per serving: 370 Cal, 19g fat (2g sat fat), 47g carbs, 250 mg sodium, 4g fiber, 6g protein

Reference: A Women’s Heath, Eat Great, Lost Weight Special Sept. 3rd 2013

Weekend Adventures, Skinny Jeans, & Blending vs Juicing

Once again we made it through another week. I have some big plans this weekend, and I can’t wait to get started.

Today my house is being sprayed for fleas. We have only been living here for 2 months, but we have had a flea problem since we moved in. Small bites have appeared on my feet and legs, as much as I would rather ignore the problem, I realize enough is enough, its time to KILL THEM ALL. Because of all harmful chemicals we are not allowed back in the house for 4-8 hours after they spray. Perfect excuse to have a stay-cation in San Francisco! Who doesn’t enjoy a nice hotel in city, I know this girl does.

We have a birthday bash to attend on Saturday, which I know will not disappoint. One of our best friends is turning 30 and we are doing up pretty big. A group of us are being shuttled to Drake’s Bay, where we will be shoving oysters into our belly’s. Can’t wait to get my oyster fix, and take in the beautiful scenery. Prepare yourself for pictures on Monday!!

After lunch/dinner we are heading back to SF to dance the night away in a random dive bar. I LOVE to dance, can’t wait to show everyone my funky moves.

Sunday I’m going to the 49ers game. We play the Colts in SF and we are looking to kill somebody after that horrible lost against the Seahawks last week. I know I’m ready to get the taste of defeat out of my mouth. I just need to figure out what I’m wearing to the game. What to wear, what to wear, that’s always my biggest question.

Look Look Look! I’m finally in a size 9! I’ve been working super hard yet my thighs haven’t been shrinking, they look as if they are expanding to me, but the scale and new jeans never lie.

Next week is another big week for me. I’m finally ready for a photo shoot. The pictures are for a before and after article I’m going to  send to a few magazines, I will also be included them on my website, and marketing material; but the most important reason I’m taking these pictures is to include them with my Book Proposal. If you didn’t know, I wrote a book about my weight loss experience, the book has been done for the last year, but I’ve been too scared to send it off to a publisher. I have no valid excuses now, it’s time to be brave, it’s time to listen to my own advice and believe in myself.

To get ready for the most important photo shoot of my life I need to look lean, toned, and healthy, with a dash of sexy.  I have to eat super clean to make sure all of my cuts and muscles pop.

Time to start Blending and Juicing.

Another fun fact about my weight loss: I used a juicer at least once a day on my way down, I was never into blending I thought juicing was the best way to digest all of my fruits and vegetables. Now that I’m a lot more educated I realize Blending also has a lot of benefits.

I will be juicing and blending all week long in preparation for the most important pictures I have every taken.

Looking forward to this weekend and next week. I hope all of you have a blast!



Web Desiging and Healthy + Unhealthy Eating

I’ve been busy, busy, busy, can you tell? I’m enjoying the new layout of my blog, a little tweaking needs to be done, but I really like where it headed. It was super hard making decisions about background patterns, tab labels, and color scheme. For now pink and gray won the battle, but who knows, I might change everything tomorrow.

I connected my blog to www.evolvewithmary.com, its coming up on my computer, but not on my ipad and my iphone, so I will be calling godaddy again, trying to figure out what the problem is. The people at godaddy are pretty helpful, and I don’t mind holding for 3-5 minutes.

Healthy and Unhealthy Eating

I broke down last night and made my boyfriend fried chicken. He has never tasted my fried chicken, because I haven’t fried anything in years, oven fried yes, deep friend No, No, No. He’s been very supportive of my health food obsessions without any complaints. I figured he needed a little reward. I’ve been frying chicken since I was 10-11 and I have a few tricks to make sure it comes out crispy, juicy, and flavorful. This batch didn’t disappoint. I didn’t get to taste it, but it sure did smell good,and my boyfriend had no complanits.

I had a melody of vegetables for dinner, white onions, shallots, yellow bell pepper, broccoli, and kale, all sautéed together with a little light soy sauce. It was delicious.

Yesterday I brought home hot dogs for lunch. All beef franks for my friends and morning star veggie hotdogs for myself. Pulled out my foreman grill and got some fresh homemade hotdog buns from a bakery. Can you guess which one is the beef dog and which is the veggie dog?

I didn’t taste the beef dog, but the veggie one was delicious.

I’m supposed to complete a full body workout today, but my legs are killing me. I could hardly walk down my stairs last night. As much as I love to push myself, I’m learning its just as important to rest your body when its tried.  No workout for me today! I’m turning today into a rest day, which means I will have to exercise on Saturday.  My goals is 5 days a week, M-F off Saturday and Sunday, unless I need a break during the week. Its been working well so far. I usually don’t weight myself, but the scale at my new gym always tempts me. I’m down 10 pounds from 3 weeks ago, which is pretty good,  especially since I wasn’t trying to loose any weight.

I’ve been feeling toned and happy, my body is healthy and glowing. Ankle weights have enhanced my abdominal workout. I can feel myself getting stronger and leaner. Everyday I’m getting closer and closer to my goals, which only inspires me to set higher goals to conquer.

Back to work….

Blessings my friends,


Crafts day!

Hello Friends,

Today is a creative day. The Chili Cook-off is slowly approaching, and I’m finally starting to take it seriously.

Sausalito’s 35th Annual Chili Cook Off
September 28th, 2013
You must prepare 10 gallons of chili on site the morning of the event.
Prize Categories:
Most Creative: Dress up your booth and helpers
Judges Choice: A panel of judges will determine the best chili
Peoples Choice: The first 1000 people will get to vote on their favorite chili

Those are the dirty details. I’ve been working on my own detailed list explaining what I want my booth to look like, my creative marketing plan, and what kind of chili to cook.

I’m still deciding on my chili recipe,so far I know I’m going to use chicken or turkey, red, white, and black beans. The chili must also be healthy, since I’m advertising my Personal Training, Life Coaching and Motivational Coaching business. I’m all about eating healthy, and still enjoying food.

This is what I’ve decided on thus far.

Booth name: Evolve with Me

Booth helpers: My two girlfriends Tamara S. and Nicole B.

Booth theme: Healthy living, positive affirmations, spreading love, positivity

Booth Marketing: Positive Affirmation Jars, EWM newsletter and email capture, brochures, business cards

Booth Decorations: DIY banners and props

The plan is to create some of these cool crafts. I’m pretty excited about it to tell the truth.

For the next few days my blog will be changing over to www.evolvewithmary.comwith more content, a better layout, and more details about my journey.

That’s what I’ll be working on all day today, besides going to the gym. 
Today is cardio day, my goal is 15-20 miles, I think I’ll land somewhere in the 17-18 mile range, which isn’t too bad for an hours worth of pedaling. I really enjoy the spin bike, and my body seems to enjoy it as well. My legs are defiantly stronger, my abdominals tight and taunt, but the icing on the cake is my endurance. I don’t get tired completing this workout. No matter how fast I pedal, or how much I turn up the resistance my body is ready for the challenge. People in the gym constantly stare at me, some even jump on the spin bike next to me, in my mind I imagine they are inspired by my hard work and they want to feel the burn just as bad as I do.

Send me your good energy, I’m going to need it.



Coding and Ankle Weights

Sugar Pie Honey Bunch

My heart goes out to all the victims of the Washington Naval Base Shooting. 

Today is the first day of the rest of my life and I’m ready to attack it with all the passion I have. 

Everything is in motion. I purchased my domain name and now I get to code, code, code.

A detail a lot of people don’t know about me is while loosing weight I taught myself how to build websites. The plan was to earn a little extra money, but once the pounds started to fall I realized my passion for fitness, and web designing went on the back burner. Now I get to dust off my skills to pay these bills. 

Lets Talk about Ankle Weights

Ankle weights are cheap and effective. A simple pair of ankle weights can add a needed challenge to your current routine while getting you closer to the body your seeking. Once you know how to use them you can incorporate ankle weights into multiple exercises.

Killing your Legs

Adding resistance to your leg workout is not the same as using heavy weights or bulking up. Add weight to your workouts to fatigue your muscles. To grow stronger you must work muscles until they tire. 

TIP: Muscles burn more calories than fat, even at rest. Stronger leg muscles will boost your metabolism and help your weight management goals. 

Doing the same exercises the same way all the time will cause your body to adapt to movements and benefits will taper off. 

***Avoid walking with ankle weights. It can be harmful, according to the University of Kentucky. “Wearing ankle weights while walking places  too much stress on the ankle, knee, and hip joints while throwing off your alignment, which can lead to joint pain and damage. 

Rev Up Your Abdominal Game

Instead of doing a million crunches, wear ankle weights and perform bicycle exercises, reverse abdominal lifts and knee to chest exercise. When you use ankle weights like this it keeps your abdominal muscles contracted while maintaining a pelvic tilt throughout each exercise.

Always complete exercise slowly with control, moving too quickly while wearing weights may cause back injuries. 

Ankle weights can help ease asthma or other breather problems when you rest them on your chest. Resting them on your chest is like strength training for  your respiratory muscles. While making them stronger and more efficient

***Before attempting this consult your health care provider to make sure weighted breathing is appropriate for you. 

Try these abdominal exercises with ankle weights. Start with light weights 3-5 pounds. Strap these bad boys to your ankles and complete 2 sets of 8 reps. I can surely tell the difference, I’m sure you will be able to also. 

Weighted Leg Circles

Weighted Windshield wipers

Weighted Crunch Frog