June 30, 2016
Wow, this week certainly did fly by fast, right?! This week, for me has been pretty productive. I have had my high energy days and some not so much. I am on Day 8 of my new diet, The Ketogenic Diet and some days I'm running around with so much energy and some days I am exhausted from the detox. I have lost 8 lbs so far on this diet! I'm hoping to get to my goal weight within the next week and I plan on rewarding myself with some retail therapy!
I have also noticed that my allergies are much better and I haven't had issues with anxiety or depression since I have been on the diet, so that is a huge improvement. I have been so excited about it that I have been telling all of my family about it and how much this way of eating, has helped me. Also, I post free books weekly on my Book Club- The Book Clique and I posted a couple of free downloads for the Ketogenic diet if you are interested! Make sure you follow so that you get access to free kindle books every week!
The one thing that has really helped me get through this week is the BulletProof Coffee that I told you guys about last week- that stuff is amazing! When I'm feeling tired, it really gives me so much energy to get the things that I need to get done. I have really been taking advantage of my high energy days and getting quite a few things knocked out.
>> Applied for a few affiliate programs to help monetize my blog
>> Updated my Blog Media Kit
>> Emailed some companies about collaborations
>> Emailed over 35 free copies of my VA eBook in exchange for Amazon Reviews (I also sold several copies in the last week- woohoo!!)
>> Pitched an article to HARO. The source was from the Huffington Post, so I'm hoping that it gets published!
>> Updated my business website
>> Emailed several readers for new reviews on my Facebook for my VA eBook
>> Lowered my VA eBook price from $9.99 to $7.99 so that I can reach more people. I know that it's worth so much more, but I'm more interested in helping others achieve their dreams of working from home, like I have!
>> Touched up Paint in a couple of rooms
>> Repaired a DIY piece that the hubby and I made together. I plan on hanging it this weekend!
>> Hubby did some caulking on the interior trim to get it ready for me to paint
>> Re-arranged the deck
>> Made Hair appointment for next week
>> Actually took some downtime and had a spa day at home. I need to do that more often!
>> Made Dentist appointment for next week
>> Daily- listen to sermons, exercise via speed-walking/water aerobics
>> I finally bit the bullet & joined SnapChat! You can follow me @malpollard The hubby and I have been having so much fun with it!!
>> Also helped my Mom in the past 2 months do some de-cluttering and cleaning. She is always so giving and helping everyone else so it was nice to help her for once.
>> My brother's house burned down a couple of months ago so my hubby went to help with my other brothers to re-build their pool house. They worked for almost 13 hours straight and was able to get it fully framed! So excited for them after going through such a tragedy.
And as always, my regular domestic duties around the house- dishes, laundry, cleaning and cooking. Right now, I have to do everything all on my own, but one day I plan on hiring a housekeeper. I think for going through a week of detox, this is not a bad list of accomplishments. Just think of all that I could accomplish after getting over this detox period! I can't wait to see how much better I feel once I get through this period.
Let me know if this post helps you or inspires you so that I can do more posts like these. I always want to share my tips so I can help you feel your very best & have the best life possible! For me, life is about giving back & when you find something amazing- share it with the world and help others.
I'll be back soon with more fun updates! Happy early Friday!
June 24, 2016
Happy Friday!! This has been a really great week for me because I am finally seeing some results from all of the hard work that I've been putting into my workouts and healthy eating! Currently, I have lost about 5 lbs so far and I feel like I have more energy. Getting to my goal weight + toned is on my 2016 Goals/Vision Board so I plan on getting it accomplished!
My "whys" for reaching my goal weight:
>> Look good in everything!
>> Have more energy
>> Get rid of food allergies, intolerances
>> Feel confident & secure in my own skin
>>Self-love, stop being so hard on myself!
>> Look amazing for my hubby!
>> Summer- look amazing in my swimsuit!
I have been swimming almost every day and speed-walking for about 1 hour per day. I have decreased my HIIT workouts from 4-5 to about 2-3 times per week. I just started a new eating plan that I am so excited about that I want to share with you guys!
It's called the Ketogenic diet and it's been around forever but lately I have been seeing bulletproof coffee on Instagram, etc. A diet based around drinking coffee definitely piqued my interest! I downloaded a couple of Ketogenic Kindle books and did some research online and it seems like a really great diet!
via Cafe Gras
Thursday was Day 1 and it was rough because I completely eliminated all sugar and carbs. Usually, I eat some carbs and sugar on a daily basis, so not having any, really put my body into detox shock!
Here's Day 1 on Keto:
7:45 Bulletproof coffee for Breakfast
9:00 Bulletproof coffee
10:00 1 organic fried egg, handful organic sauteed greens & 1/2 chicken sausage
Basically, to make the bulletproof coffee, you need 1 cup organic coffee, 1 tablespoon of whipping cream (preferably organic, grass-fed), 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. (I actually only 1/2 tbsp of butter). You blend all of these ingredients together in a blender or with a hand-held frother. Don't add any sugar! I found that it tastes so good on it's own, that I don't even miss the sugar. There are other specific products that you can buy to enhance your coffee, but I decided to start my Keto diet on a budget to see how it works before I invest too much.
I made the mistake of taking all of my vitamins at once and walked for about 10 minutes. I started to feel nauseous so I went back inside and hydrated with lots of lemon water. I can definitely feel the detox today. I haven't been without sugar or carbs all day, like ever!
2 organic boiled eggs with 1/2 avocado, olive oil, sea salt
I did eat some grapes and almonds (the grapes were a no-no but I started feeling nauseous and needed something with sugar in it)
I felt better after another bulletproof coffee and a snack, so I speed-walked for about 35 minutes and felt okay this time. Once the hubby got home, we headed over to the pool and went swimming for an hour. We literally exercised the entire time. I can really tell that the swimming exercises are toning my muscles, which I'm really excited about!
Huge Kale & Romaine salad with organic chicken & Greek vinaigrette dressing with grated Parmesan
1/2 of Paleo Grass-Fed Bar
Day 2 on Keto:
I feel so much better this morning! For breakfast I had 2 cups of bulletproof coffee and 1/2 of a Grass-fed Paleo Bar, 1/2 chicken sausage and 3 oz. of raw cheese. I convinced my hubby to try my Bulletproof coffee this morning and he liked it!
I'm really feeling excited about the Keto diet, because I have dealt with so many issues with food intolerance and allergies in the past couple of years. I haven't found anything that has helped so I'm really hoping that this is the answer. It would be so amazing to wake up every morning and feel normal and not like I was ran over by a mac truck!
I'll keep you guys updated on everything and I will be back in a day or two with an amazing brand that you are going to love! (At least I really do!)
Have you tried bulletproof coffee yet?
June 20, 2016
I have been working really hard lately to eat healthier and eliminate gluten and I feel so much better eating this way! Still, sometimes my life gets so busy that I have to resort to pre-made frozen meals. Lucky for me, there are so many healthy options out there for people like me!
Recently, Udi's Gluten Free kindly sent me some complimentary coupons to use on their products to review. I was more than happy to oblige! I already purchase their gluten free breads, pizza and pastas but the Veggie Lasagna was new to me, so I chose it to review.
Udi's Gluten Free Veggie Lasagna is layered with mozzarella and ricotta cheese with tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onions and celery. My husband and I eat frozen meals at least once per week since we stay pretty busy and it's great to know that there are healthy, gluten free options out there! I love how easy it was to just pop in the oven and bake.
Comparing this lasagna to other frozen lasagnas that I've had is not even comparable. My husband honestly thought that this lasagna was home-made (I had to break the truth to him that it was frozen and he was very surprised!) For the people who dislike vegetables out there (my Mom and brother!), even though it has zucchini, squash, onions and celery, you could not even tell that they were in there.
You can find Udi's practically anywhere. I purchase mine from Publix, Whole Foods, Fresh Market and even Target.
Have you tried any of the Udi's Gluten Free products? I would love to hear about which ones that you've tried!
June 14, 2016
Lately, we have been enjoying the summer and going swimming at my brother's pool a few times per week. I have been taking advantage of the pool so that I can exercise and I have also been doing my HIIT workouts and speed walking. For some reason, it's been really difficult for me getting back in shape this time, so I ordered some Chromium Picolinate from iHerb today, and I'm hoping that it helps boost my metabolism and work some magic. Getting in shape is a daily commitment and it's definitely not for the lazy!
I have been eating really healthy since we got back from our week-long cruise. All gluten free, no breads and I have cut way back on sugar. Recently, I received these healthy heart bars from Rawxies to review. I was definitely in need of some healthy snacks and detoxing after all of the heavy foods from my cruise.
I love the fact that rawxies are gluten free, soy free and dairy free; especially since I have allergies to all three. These heart bars were very filling and the perfect snack! My favorite two were obviously the chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate brownie- yum! They also carry other great flavors such as mint chocolate chip and cranberry pecan.
If you are looking for a healthy snack these are perfect for before or after your workout. You can find them online at Amazon Prime, Lucky Vitamin, Vita-Cost, Abe's Market or The Gluten-Free Mall. You can also check their locations map online and find them in a store as well.
What's your favorite healthy snack?
June 13, 2016
In the past five days, since I wrote that post, things have been improving and I have felt some stress being lifted off of me and haven't had any anxious nights. I still have a ways to go & much more praying to do, but things are getting better by the day. I am going to leave it in God's hands and put my faith in him that he will work everything out to our good! I am more than happy to give up the driver's seat and let God do the driving, He does a much better job than me and he knows what is best for me. That is something that I have learned in life (and still sometimes have to continue to learn) is to give things over to him instead of trying to take things into my own hands.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
Sometimes, I feel so unworthy of God's blessings because I am not the best of Christians. I'm not perfect by any means, but I do love God with all of my heart and soul and long to serve him in all areas of my life. He's been so good to me, regardless of my failures and mess-ups. It's amazing having someone in my corner that loves me unconditionally, even though I'm not perfect. If you think about that for a moment; that's pretty amazing..God is so good y'all! I am just so overwhelmed today by his love and mercy :)
I hope that you all are having a lovely start to the week and I'll be back in a day or two.
June 9, 2016
Lately, I have been listening to sermons while I work during the day and noticed that the same message seems to keep coming back to me. I have seen it on social media, quotes and listening to several sermons. I know that it's God speaking to me and I wanted to share in case this speaks to you or maybe you're going through a similar situation.
The message that I have been receiving is"Stop worrying, God is working everything out." I won't go into details, but I have been going through some difficult things in my life- this specific trial is something that I haven't been through before and it's been really hard and has caused me to stay awake nights worrying and being stressed. It's gotten to the point to where I worry and think about it constantly. I have even had several anxiety attacks to where I have had to calm myself down so that I could catch my breath. I have been praying more and trying to turn it over to God. I just can't do this on my own- I need God to take over. I have been worrying too much, when I should have been praying more and trusting in God to take care of things.
I'm not saying it's easy, especially when you feel like your life is out of control and you work so hard and help others yet still your life is a constant struggle. It's really hard to sit back and watch people who take advantage of others and it seems like life is going so amazing for them. That really frustrates me and makes me want to throw in the towel and quit. Why can't the kind and giving people be rewarded? Why does it seem like the ones that are dishonest and take advantage of people and are full of greed get rewarded? It's something that I struggle with understanding.
All I know is that I have to continue being kind, lifting up and encouraging others. I will continue to love and help those less fortunate and the broken in spirit. It may not seem like it right now, but God is busy behind the scenes working things out for me. I just have to keep trusting in him and know that the plans that he has for me, are for good and not evil. Plans to prosper me and give me a hope and a future. I don't know the exact plans that God has in store for me, but I will continue to trust in Him. I have followed God for most of my life and he has never let me down. I love and adore Him because he has looked out for me my whole life and has been there with me when everyone else walked out the door.
I hold on to the faith because I have witnessed countless miracles from God. I have witnessed our dog, Roscoe, when he became paralyzed and depressed for 8 months, later begin to walk and play like a normal dog again. I watched God deliver my husband and I out of bondage in situations where people were taking advantage of us and place us in a much happier & healthier situation. I have witnessed having extreme health issues and God restoring health to my body. I have witnessed a child that was having traumatic emotional issues receive healing, with extreme prayers for bondage's to be broken over him. I have been a part of all of these miracles; some I prayed for days and some took years to come to pass. But every time, God came through on his promises.
I love being a prayer warrior for God and helping others receive deliverance and healing. God is good all of the time and I will once again trust in him that he will work everything out for me as well. I have faith that I will be back soon with a testimony of victory and deliverance! So stay tuned :)
And we know that in ALL things God works for the good for those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Are you going through something and need prayers? Let me know and I'll be happy to lift you up in prayer.
May 30, 2016
We are back from our 7-day MSC Cruise and we had the best time!
We visited the Straw Market, took the taxi to Atlantis to Paradise Beach and enjoyed the sun and water for a while. We had planned on getting a couples beach massage, which we normally do every time, but they were already busy, so we decided to just enjoy the sun a little. Later, we headed back to Atlantis and visited some of the cute shops behind Atlantis and also the gorgeous yachts and marina by the restaurants. We walked around and took some photos and headed back to the ship. We had to board at 1:30 so it was a fairly short day.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan is always my favorite stop. The first thing we did was stop at Starbucks to grab a coffee and look at the map. We go here often, so we wanted to try something different. We ended up finding a secret scenic area by the water that goes all the way around the El Morro Fort. There were so many Iguanas everywhere. We took lots of pictures and then headed towards town to find Barrachina's- I had read all about their amazing Pina Coladas. They originated at Barrachinas, so I figured they had to be amazing! And I was right, they were the best Pina Coladas that I've ever had in my life! The bartenders use almost 3 shots of rum per glass and the hubby and I shared 3 large drinks and some grouper fritters- I was definitely feeling relaxed. My husband liked them so much that we walked all around town to find the same rum that the bartender used and we finally found it and purchased 2 different Puerto Rican Rums to use at home.
We also visited Pigeon Park where you will find hundreds of pigeons and you can feed them. I chose not to because I saw a girl almost get attacked when she had food in her hand (no thanks!). My husband did go in and I stayed outside the gate and observed. One pigeon ended up landing on his shoulder and sat there for the longest time. It's also by the waterfront, which is really beautiful. From there, we did a little bit of shopping and I found a nice white dress to wear to dinner. On the way back to the ship, there was a long line of local vendors who sell their wares for a living. I found a sweet little old lady selling shell bracelets, necklaces and other things. The hubby and I chatted with her and ended up buying matching shell bracelets and headed back to the ship.
Phillipsburg, St. Marteen
We opted to take the water ferry over to Great Bay Beach. They had so many cute little shops and bars/restaurants. We visited Diamonds International where my husband almost bought me a pair of diamond earrings. I just wanted to look at the jewelry and enjoy myself, but the salespeople were so aggressive that it turned me off from wanting to purchase anything. They even tried to bribe us with a private open bar upstairs at the last just to get us to purchase some jewelry. I had to make the hubby leave because he really wanted to buy them for me, but I was just so ready for the beach. Maybe next time, some place where they aren't so pushy. Thanks, but no thanks. I was so happy to get out of there! We also had to leave early this day so we bought a Guava Berry drink from the bar and sat on the beach for a little while. It was nice to have a view of the cruise ships in the near distance. The beach was loaded with these tiny little shells. The hubby helped me collect a few to bring back home.
We really enjoyed the Cruise Ship as well. We ended up purchasing a couple's 1 hour facial on the third or fourth day and it was amazing! By purchasing the facial, it gave us access to the thermal spa which we enjoyed for about 4 days in a row.
I also loved that MSC Cruises offers the option to purchase the smaller drink/beverage packages. We had purchased an 18 alcohol package plus a 15 coffee beverage package. It ended up being perfect for just the two of us. We tried every tropical drink on the menu- pina coladas, Miami vice, mojitos, daiquiris, sweet and sour,tequila sunrise, Jamaican rum drink,Mai tai. Dinner was also amazing- lobster, escargot, scallops, shrimp, surf and turf. The desserts were out of this world- tiramisu, baked Alaska, cheesecake. Which is why I gained almost 10 lbs! Also, their pizza and pastas are all hand-made and so amazing! We watched the chefs hand-roll the pizza dough, add the toppings and bake it in the pizza oven. The pizza was so good! There were several nights that we grabbed a slice for a late night snack (and sometimes, a plate of dessert as well).
Now, we're back home and I've started a new exercise routine with the hubby. We are doing HIIT workouts. We started yesterday and did only 20 minutes and it was amazing! We also plan on getting back on gluten free, soy free, low sugar and mostly dairy free eating plan. I'm pretty sure my body is in shock from all of the sugar, dairy, alcohol that I consumed for 7 days!
It's so nice to be back home. Now I'm just catching up on laundry, we just had gluten free waffles and chicken sausage for breakfast and are getting ready to get some things done! Have a lovely weekend!!
Where are you going on vacation this year? I'd love to hear all about it!