Shape Up Diary: My 2018 Weightloss Journey

Week 4 had a few hiccups with bad weather which resulted in not being able to go outside for walks or runs, and since the weather was terrible we did not go out for groceries and ordered takeout instead. Although I did try to order a healthier version of my usual order. On Wednesday I did not feel motivated to do much of anything, and not even coffee helped. Has anyone had days like that?

Although I was lacking a bit in the workout department for this week, I did better in choosing healthier meals. On Saturday we went out to a ball where the guest speaker was Mark Gungor (Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage), it was such an honor to meet him in person. Anyways, to prepare for the event I skipped a workout on that morning and opted for healthier snacks to make up for it even when the event had a buffet for dinner. I also found two new recipes that were so easy to make and kept me full for quite a while.

 

No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Bites (Christin at The Veggie Chick)

Vegan/Gluten Free – Serves 22

  • 1lb  Dates
  • 1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp ground Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Coconut Oil
  • 3/4 cup Almond Slices
  • 1/4 Unsweetened Coconut
  • 2 tbsp ground Flax Seed

 

  1. Add the almonds to a food processor and process about 30 seconds, until finely chopped.
  2. Add cocoa, flax seed, sea salt and oats. Process another 20 seconds or so, until blended.
  3. Add dates and coconut oil. Process for 2-3 minutes or until mixture is well blended. You may need to stir every minute so everything gets mixed equally.
  4. Test the mixture so it is firm enough to form into balls. If it’s not or too dry, add a little more melted coconut oil.
  5. Form into 1 inch balls. Put into an airtight container and put in the fridge at least an hour before serving. These balls will last for days in the fridge and make a quick breakfast or snack.

 

These were so amazing and really did fuel my workouts with a boost of energy.

shape up diary week 4 energy balls

 

Current Favorite Salad Recipe:

  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Bell Peppers
  • Snap Peas
  • Vinaigrette
  1. Cut up all vegetables and add desired amount to plate.
  2. Add vinaigrette.

 

Shape up week 4 salad .jpg

 

 

Mark Gungor and MNL

And this wraps up the month of January. For now I am putting the Shape Up Diary series on hold, if you guys would like to read more let me know down in the comment section!

This weeks weightloss: -4.8lbs

Total weightloss: -16.1lbs

MNL Signature

Advertisements

Shape Up Diary: My 2018 Weightloss Journey – Week 3

Week 3 really surprised me with a sudden burst of energy. I woke up an hour earlier than usual feeling refreshed and energized instead of groggy. I completed my morning workouts and stretches before breakfast and encountered less cravings for sweets.

weightloss week 3 smoohthie.jpg

My breakfasts consisted mostly of scrambled eggs, salmon on rye crisp bread, or smoothies usually with half a Grapefruit on the side or a few Kiwis. I have also been very obsessed with using my juicer again. The juice was super refreshing and lightly sweet tasting which really helped with curbing my sweet tooth.

Current favorite recipe for juicing:

  • 3 Oranges
  • 2 Green Apples
  • 2 Carrots
  • a couple handfuls of Kale
  • 1/2 Cucumber

 

weightloss week 3 juice

I haven’t been hungry as much so I might grab a granola bar as a snack which are just filling enough. The “Fiber One” bars are currently my favorite, especially the chocolate brownie which is my guilty pleasure. And for dinners, starches have been replaced more and more with green vegetables like kale, broccoli or peas.

With the newfound energy I have been able to complete my workouts more consistently and my run time has been improving. I am far from my goals, but I loved seeing the progress. I am hoping to start attending more classes offered at the local gym such as spin, Zumba or yoga to maximize my results. Overall I am really proud of this week as it has shown the most progress and health benefits.

 

This weeks weightloss: -5.3 lbs

Total: -11.3 lbs

MNL Signature

Beauty Habits: What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion may be one of the greatest things that I have ever discovered. It is a lot more thorough than regular exfoliation and aids in giving you your smoothest skin yet. Basically it erases the very top layer of skin on your face. There are two types of microdermabrasion: crystal vs. diamond.

With the crystal technique, one uses a handheld device that shoots a high-speed stream of the smallest aluminum oxide crystals onto the skin to remove grime and dead/dry skin cells. This system also includes a tiny vacuum that sucks up unwanted materials.

However during the diamond technique, a dermatologist will use a wand tipped with a laser-cut diamond. Due to its strength and durability, the diamond was chosen over other gems. And, unlike the others, they do not leave powder or dust after use.

At a professionals office, the cost is typically between $75-$200 per treatment and the duration is about 30 min but the overall appointment is an hour.

Benefits:

  • The procedure is pretty painless compared to other treatments like microneedling.
  • Improves absorption of skincare products.
  • Microdermabrasion is suitable for all skin types.
  • Clean pores, continuous treatment cleans out pores leaving a smoother skin.
  • Sticking with it can also reduce the appearance of acne scarring and such.

Risks:

  • Skin is temporarily pink but recovers within 24 hours.
  • As always consult a doctor before using, especially if you use Accutane.
  • Don’t use extreme products such as alpha & beta hydroxy acid, retin A, or retinol prior to and after 48 hours of treatment.
  • Skin will feel dry and tight (almost like a sunburn) for about 24 hours. Use a moisturizer.
  • Some types of makeup are not suitable until 24 hour after the procedure.

 

A great device I have found for microdermabrasion is the PMD system. It is a 3-minute treatment that uses calibrated vacuum suction, which is the power behind its effective microdermabrasion. This triggers natural collagen and elastin production to heal the skin again. There are several attachable discs ranging in color from white (sensitive) to yellow (intense), the smaller discs are for the face and the larger ones can be used for microdermabrasion on the body.

So how do you use the PMD?

  1. Clean skin thoroughly.
  2. Using the white disc, practice on arm/leg before using on face.
  3. Pull skin tight to help the device glide over skin.
  4. Move quickly in upwards motion, each section of skin should only be crossed over once.
  5. Follow up by applying toner and moisturizer.
  6. Wash the cap and filter after each use.

It is so easy to include in your Sunday night skincare routine since you only need to use dermabrasion every 4-6 weeks. I hope you will find your best skin yet with microdermabrasion.

 

 

MNL Signature

 

 

 

 

Be Our Guest: Morgan from Prosecco and Projects

In the 4th installment of our “Be Our Guest” series, I’d love to introduce Morgan from Prosecco and Projects. Her spectacular website is full of different DIY, food, beauty articles and so much more. Definitely worth checking out! Also her Instagram account is filled with amazing ideas and great photos.


There are two types of people in this world. Those who love eggs and those who hate them. I used to be the later. I thought they were so gross until I realized that they are the perfect healthy vehicle for other foods. Like avocado! Now I am obsessed!
I am doing Whole30 this month for the 3rd time and something I have learned is that eggs are your bff on this program! When doing W30 you will find yourself putting eggs on everything. They are just such a quick source of protein and they keep you feeling full.
The thing that I love about these mini frittatas is that they are perfect for on the go. They are the size of a muffin so they are the perfect size to just toss in a ziplock and go. I make a batch of these every Sunday and they last for a few days. They are so hearty and delicious on their own or great with avo (duh!) and hot sauce! Another bonus is that there is no dairy in this recipe, but they are so savory you don’t even miss it!

Morgan Pic 2

Sweet potatoes and ham are a power couple in the food world. This combo is seriously perfection. The sweet from the potato and the salty flavor from the ham are a match made in heaven. I don’t think I need to do any further convincing so on to the recipe!

Mini Sweet Potato and Ham Frittata
1 Sweet Potato
1 Cup of Ham
8 eggs
Salt and Pepper
Cut sweet potatoes and ham into small cubes. Cook the sweet potatoes in a pan on the stove top with a bit of ghee until slightly soft. While the sweet potatoes are cooking pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Whip up eggs in a glass container with a spout (this makes pouring easy). Spray a muffin tin with coconut oil or ghee spray. Pour eggs evenly in muffin tins about 2/3 full. Add a spoonful of each the potatoes and ham. Sprinkle each one with salt and pepper. Bake until eggs are completely set. About 20 min.
Morgan Pic 3
How easy was that! Now you have breakfast for the next few days. I also feel like this would be a great family recipe because you aren’t limited to mix ins. You could make a bunch of different things and then let everyone choose what they want in theirs! Go crazy!
xx, Prosecco and Projects

Shape Up Diary: My 2018 Weightloss Journey – Week 2

I apologize for the delay in this post, it has been a tumultuous week.

Week 2 went a lot better than its predecessor, I ate a lot healthier and maintained my newly increased water intake. I wish I had increased that amount ages ago since I have so much energy now. My breakfasts mostly consisted of steel cut oats with different types of fruits as toppings and sweetened with honey, and on days I really did not want oats I substituted with a smoothie that contained oats to keep me full longer. Lunches were a bit embarrassing this week, I was so busy that it mostly consisted of granola bars or snack packs. But also due to a more filling breakfast I was not very hungry either. Dinners were more interesting with the newfound Pinterest recipes, such as “chicken in lettuce wraps”  or “sesame chicken bowls”. My husband and I even swapped out our Saturday night takeout for cooking at home, which doubled as a great bonding moment in our marriage.

I continued to increase the distance during my walks by using the “Map My Walk” app which moved the amount of burned calories over to the “MyFitnessPal” app. I also attended two yoga classes, which were a bit hard to keep up with. I had such a hard time “relaxing into the pose” as my yoga instructor suggested. But hopefully that will get better with time? What are your tips for yoga class? I am hoping to tackle a spin class next to see if that is more up my alley.

 

shape up week 2 picture .JPG

Overall I am very proud of my results and accomplishments since I am still trying to figure out this whole healthier lifestyle. It’s not as easy as Pinterest made it out to be.

This weeks weightloss: -4.5 lbs

Total: -6 lbs

 

MNL Signature

 

DIY Starbucks Caramel Frappucino

We all know how much I love coffee, and even more if that coffee is from Starbucks. Unfortunately, Starbucks gets expensive really fast with $5+ a cup. So I discovered this recipe for my favorite caffeinated drink: the Caramel Frappucino. And the best part? It contains two servings, so for that first cup of coffee and then that second cup when your child is driving you insane by getting into things they really shouldn’t and then running to hyperactively jump on the couch.

This easy 271 calorie recipe is done in under 10 min and creates two servings.

  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee (cooled)
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar

 

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until your frappucino is smooth. If you want you could coat the inside of your glass with caramel drizzle before pouring in the coffee, just like they do at Starbucks. Additional you can top it off with whipped cream and extra caramel depending on preference.

Enjoy!

MNL Signature