Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Losing weight after pregnancy: My journey from overweight to fit mom

11 years ago today, I was checking in Crawford Long hospital in Atlanta to give birth to my first son.
Being a new mom, this day was full of unknowns. I was just out of college, married less than a year, and about to have a baby in a new city and in a country I only planned to live in as a 'student'.

My husband and my mother were with me, I was over 165 lbs and about to have an induced labor because I was weeks passed my due date. The induced labor was a vain procedure. After spending all night in painful expectancy, my son had to be delivered via C-section the next day in the early afternoon. I gave birth to a beautiful boy who weighted 9lbs 6 oz.

Forward this 11 years later...I am no longer over 165 lbs, the little boy is now taller than me, it doesn't take much...I didn't mentioned that I am 4'11" did I? 11 years later I am now a mother of 4, had my 4th C-Section over a year ago, started my 'health fitness journey' in July 2012 and truth be told, I feel like I just scratched the surface because somedays, I think that I have barely began.
 I am not being hard on myself, I am just being real, I say this because there is just so much that I want to do and this stage feels like 'preparation'.  It's okay though, because being prepared is very important .

Talking of preparation, the past 11 years have been such a rollercoaster and technically speaking,I hate rollercoasters but I have grown to appreciate and value the necessities of lows and highs.
Lows I have had many. After my first son, it was just me and my husband, no support system and no help to raise our first child. Due to the fact that I gave birth to my son way passed my due date, my mom who had spent a month with me had to return back home, and my husband's family was miles away.
Yes, new life, new town, new responsibilities, tons of unknowns, some fear, BUT the only constant was my prayer life that would help me through all the challenges I was facing then and beyond.

Facing the unknown
Being a new mom wasn't just the hard part. The hardest part of all was the conflicts in identity I was dealing with. I was no longer a college student, I was no longer just a little sister to my brothers, a daughter to my parents, I was now a wife to an American ( I am African by the way) and a mother to a boy that I will not get the chance to raise on my birth continent like my cousins and sister raised their kids. So many things were now to be different forever and if this wasn't enough, 'being a fat girl' added a whole lot to my inner drama.
I had no clue that weight gain could affect someone the way it affected me! Mind you I was the lean, or skinny girl, the social butterfly and pretty confident friend that you could always count on and suddenly...I became fat, insecure, shy, and started secluding myself. I would turn down invitations to go out, stopped being active and just started took me a while to realize that the lack of activity was just adding fuel to the fire ....anyway...

Getting unstuck...but...
I gradually made some changes, spent lots of time reading and researching about health and fitness, organic living, worked out at home doing Taebo, walking outdoors and walking/running on the treadmill. With each pregnancy I managed to gain less weight that I did during my first one.

I have been doing relatively good until my 4th C-section. A day I thought was my last and the hardest time of my life as a mother. That day was everything but normal. I had gotten so used to having   C-sections that, by the 4th one I knew what to expect! Well, so I thought! That day that was just 10 days away from my 35th birthday had some unpleasant surprises!
There is something weird that happens to you when death try to send you a message that you are not untouchable.

...Life's slap in the face
The months to follow were the hardest of my life and I thought I was going to lose my mind. So much seemed to fall apart at a time when I thought I was finally starting to get things together.
But something day my husband insisted that I go on a run with him. For years I had refused because I didn't want to be the 'fat girl running'...that day, I was so tired of making excuses that I went for it....this is when my mind and my body started changing. That day, all the reading and the researching I did about healthy living...all of it finally's like running was the dimensional element that would bring all of it together for me...not long after, I started a Facebook page and started sharing my experiences and encouraging others, but since I love to learn and inform, the page is also educational and all my posts are guided by my desire to educate and inspire and not so much to entertain.

I have always liked to make people feel better but I also love to read and share. Creating that first Facebook page has been a positive outlet for me. It's my prayer that people be blessed and inspired beyond what I can imagine. I am not driven by numbers there because sadly, I have remained shy and somewhat comfortable with a 'small circle' around me!  I don't share too much of myself all the time because I am a private person who prefer one on one interactions. Staying true to myself, I pray that whatever I choose to share will make a difference for someone.

It took me years to gain back the confidence I lost when I first became overweight 11 years ago. To be honest, I haven't gained all of it back! I am certainly doing better than I used to. I am shedding the pounds, staying active, rewriting the scripts of my life, learning that I don't have to be 'stuck' in a habit, a mentality or a dress size.

Sculpting a new mind and a new life
After realizing just how much the extra weight had affected my mind & emotions and not just my body, I have made it my lifelong mission to sculpt my mind first. I feed my mind positivity, carefully select what I watch or listen to. I monitor my emotions and my attitude and I continue to pray daily.

I find myself praying a lot for young ladies, for new brides, new moms who don't know what they don't know and who will be caught off guard. I pray also for the ones who have been moms for a long time who struggle with their weight or feel stuck in a given area of their luves.

Well, got to stop here, baby number 4 is crying....join us on the FB page, I will add more pictures to this post so come back and check the updates!

Thanks for stopping by, sharing your comments, Following , Liking the FB page, subscribing by email, sharing with your friends and all those good stuffs...(smiles) Until next time have a better and healthier life... N'na

Friday, August 30, 2013

Natural Fit Life September's Challenge : WALK MORE, DRINK MORE(WATER), EAT CLEAN

This month's challenge is all about getting back to the basics.
Our New You by the New Year is still ongoing so do check here to learn more about it.

For this month's challenge
Get your pedometer and your walking shoes ready, get some extra bottles of water and dish the junk food.

Yes, totally getting down to basics. The goal is to
WALK/ RUN MORE and enjoy the outdoors before it gets too cold again,
DRINK more water and
EAT CLEAN, avoid fast food and junk food.



Sounds simple right? Well, like I said, this month of September is all about getting back to the basics. Why? Because as simple as it sounds, a lot of people struggle with the basics. This month is all about building or reinforcing a strong foundation. The months leading to the end of the year can be quite challenging dues to the many holidays, the change in seasons or just feeling tired and discouraged.  So don't worry, we will keep it simple this month, but don't get fooled either, simple is not always as easy as it seems, is it?
If you are on board let us know on the Facebook/Natural Fit Life page.
Get your spouse and children on board too and join us too on Facebook/Natural Fit Couples & Facebook/Natural Fit Life Kids
For additional support and accountabilities you can join me and others on SKYPE once a week @
healthycanbedone or google hangout @ The chats are for females only.

Taking it a step further but this time for our Spiritual & Inner Man. 
September's Spiritual Challenge.
Pray more commit at least 30 minutes a day ( It's easier if you keep the TV off or cut down on social media)
Have family devotions at least once a week
Read the whole book of Psalm or Proverbs this month or the 4 first books of the New Testament
Volunteer once a week, have your spouse, family members or children involved too
E-mail me @ if interested in a once a week or daily prayer for 5-15 minutes.

Thanks for stopping by, sharing your comments, Following , Liking the FB page, subscribing by email, sharing with your friends and all those good stuffs...(smiles) Until next time have a better and healthier life... N'nako

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thank God It's Wednedsay: How to eat healthy when you are too busy. The benefits of food prepping.

This edition of Thank God It's Wednesday is all about food and ways to eat healthy when on the go.

I hear a lot of people complain that they are out all day so they have to stop at fast food places when they are hungry, or that they are too busy to even eat healthy.

1) Plan ahead. I guess planning is my favorite word because I am a lister. I love to write things down and plan ahead. It's important to be proactive. It keeps you focused, efficient and diligent. Taking 5 minutes to plan ahead can save you hours of wasted time. Plan what you will pack as healthy meals or snacks, plan what kind of food you will order if you have to catch yourself eating out, plan which restaurant will be the smartest ( healthiest) selection on your routes when you are out and about.

A note about getting started if planning many meals: collect containers that easily fit in your fridge, that are easily stackable and easy to carry around. Shop at your local Dollar Store.
Do your shopping with a list, write a simple menu of things that you are most likely to eat. If you generally eat junk food, it's time to plan smart and incorporate more healthy alternatives.
If you are on a budget, shop around what's on sales or special deals. Buy in bulk if you can afford it, use or trade coupons with family and friends. Keep it simple, you don't have to prep beef stroganoff think healthy, simple and practical. The biggest and most valuable investment is planning!

2) Prioritize your activities and you will have time to prep your food. You know you will have a busy day or a busy week, don't sit watch TV,  or get on social media until you have invested a few minutes or an hour into prepping some food.
You might not have the energy to prep for the whole week, but even if you are prepping some things just for snack time, or a couple of meals ahead, it's  time saved up and preventing yourself from eating the wrong food. This goes with planning ahead but it's worth being reminded that we have to set our priorities straight even if it's for simple and smart things. Believe me distractions easily snick up on us and we easily get so caught up.
If someone is calling you to chat when you know you could be using your time to prep some food or get more organized, tell them you will call back when you are done, or talk while you are working instead of just slouching in the couch listening to them...keep it moving and get it done!

3) Always pack a lunch bag no matter where you are going and how long you will be out. It doesn't matter if you will be out  45 minutes or 6 hours, pack some food.
 Keep an apple in your purse.
Keep a mini cooler in your car and add some ice packs to your lunch bags and pack some yogurts for example.  I pack lunch bags everywhere I go. When I used to go to the beauty shop on Saturdays ( before having natural hair)  I was the lady known for her bottle of water and her lunch bag. One time I forgot my bag at the beauty shop everybody knew it was mine, no guessing games :-)
My children have picked the habit and do not go through the front door without a bottle in their hands and a small bag with healthy snacks. They clean and pack their own fruits and veggies. Why? Because it's annoying to be caught up somewhere with no water and nothing to calm your appetite.

This picture below shows simple things I pack in my lunch bag. It also shows where I prefer to stop for food instead of a fast food restaurant. we only stop at fast food restaurants to use the bathroom. This was a busy day, we sat down for a quick meal at Whole Food, and having no time to exercise I improvised outdoors at a park while the children played.

4) Don't go hours without eating, eat small meals during the day. A prepped smoothie here, a banana there, a few sunflower seeds one time, a cup full of grapes or berries another...feed yourself just stay but far away from processed food.


Prepping healthy snacks and lunch bag. All rights reserved.

5) Even if you know you will be eating out, choose wisely, snack on your healthy snacks before eating out. There are times when I will munch on an apple right before entering a store or on my way to a restaurant. It helps your appetite and calm your nerves while waiting in a long line or waiting on a slow server.

6) Enlist the help of your family. With prepping for example, have your children help with cleaning fruits and veggies and sorting them into containers or Ziploc bags. You don't have to do everything alone. Have your spouse join you and divide tasks, work as a team. It's a great way to be productive, connect and have fun conversations. It always amaze me the things we end up talking about when we are all busy working together in the kitchen. It's like the excitement of prepping Thanksgiving dinner with family but doing it on a smaller scale and with healthier food.

7) Get creative and stop making excuses. If you really want to eat healthy think outside the box. You will find ways to save time. Prep food instead of doing something less urgent, put everything on one side of the fridge the night before so it's just easier to grab and put in the bunch bag the next day. If you can't bake some chicken from scratch go get a rotisserie chicken, cut it and make portions for meals. I mean I can stretch some rotisserie chicken. I would make pulled BBQ chicken in a crockpot, get some of the same chicken to go with some broccoli, get more of the meat to make fajitas....Another thing you can do is fix a pot of spaghetti while you are watching TV or doing a quick workout video and portion it for future meals. Get some broccoli and green beans cook and portion in small containers just so that they are ready to be use.
On days you don't feel like cooking cut some onions and tomatoes, freeze them or store them in the fridge to use whenever. There are a lot of little things we can do ahead of time that don't take much energy but pay off big dividend especially on days when we are rushing!

The benefits of food prepping. All rights reserved.

Well, that all my tips for today! How do you eat healthy when you are too busy?
Please check our others Thank God It's Wednesday's or visit the site for more interesting articles. Visit the Facebook page, go through the albums there because I share  tons of photos that can better illustrate some of these tips! Like our page and please spread the word about the page, the Thank God It's Wednesday features, and let us know if there is any specific subject you would like us to address in our next TGIW's edition.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July's Challenge: " New You by the New Year" challenge

Starting this month: New You by the New Year and I am not just talking fitness goals.
 More details on the challenge will be posted next Monday but here's YOUR ASSIGMENT FOR THIS FIRST WEEK.! ( Yes you have homework to do).

To get started: take before picture, weight yourself and take your measurements then do some planning.

 This first week your assignment is to PLAN: plan plan plan plan
-Plan what you want to accomplish in every areas of your life for the rest of this year.
-Plan your weeks,  month
-Plan your daily actions items that would help you reach your goals. ( Things like prayer time, walking, reading time, food prepping, playing with the children or time with spouse, budgeting, balancing checkbook, setting clothes asides for workouts...whatever will help you be more efficient)
-Divide your plans in two sets of 90 days to keep you focused on your goals. You will review your progress in 90 days.
-Establish your core values. If you don't know what you truly value you will be going through the motion and you will easily sabotage yourself along the way or allow unnecessary things to distract you.
-Write WHY you want to accomplish your chosen goals. Having a written WHY makes it easier to really believe and focus on making things happen. WHY are the goals you chose so important to you?

You will need:
-Time alone to think
-Time to discuss with your family members living with you so that you can decide what you want to accomplish collectively, share your personal goals so that they can hold you accountable etc..
-3 journals, ( planning, gratitude and positivity journal, daily fitness and food log journal, vision/motivation journal)
  -Magazines,  art supplies like markers glue and scissors if you want to really have fun. You will use a journal and create a dream book clipping images of places to visit, fun things to do solo or with your loved ones, fitness motivation, healthy food to eat .You can do the same with a vision board. The journal is more fun because it can also be carried in your purse and you can browse through anywhere anytime ...


You still have to eat clean and exercise this week and pick a couple of books you will be reading this month. Yes, reading at least a book or two is part of the deal like we did the months before! More details to come soon but for now...PLAN PLAN PLAN!!!! Write your vision and make it plain and plan the costs so to speak, before you start building the foundations for a brand new you!
Fitness Challenges:

Join us on FB if you are on your weight loss journey or just taking your fitness goals and other areas of your life to the next level!
Day 1 of my 2013 New You by the New Year. With a comparison of my picture from last July 1st.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Thank God It's Wednesday # 2 STOP: How to stop sabotaging yourself and move forward with confidence

Welcome to this second edition of Thank God It's Wednesday. Today I am using a familiar sign to motivate you to make progress and encourage you to be consistent patient and persistent.
Why Thank God It's Wednesday? Wednesday are probably the day where many of us are feeling somewhat burnt out , discouraged by some of the challenges of the week and looking forward to the week-end as an escape. This is a way of regaining a mental boost that will help us to push strong...

Stop making excuses
Stop procrastinating
Stop doubting yourself because the truth of the matter is you are very capable. There are many situations & areas of your life that prove that you are capable of achieving goals when you make up your mind to.
Stop wasting so much time on worthless things. Do you watch too much TV? Do you watch shows that actually pollute your mind? Do you spend more time complaining than you do counting your blessings? Do you spend more time gossiping than you do building others up?
If on  a weight loss journey: Stop thinking about losing weight and think more about "improving your health & your body"
Stop complaining about not getting results when you know that you would be further away if you stay consistent, patient and persistent no matter how slow you go.
Stop comparing yourself to others especially and start recognizing and exploiting your own potentials
Stop talking so negative to yourself and others because each word you speak vocally or mentally create a world for you. Switch your words and your attitude and you will switch your life.

Think about what you have to gain when you follow through with actions that will gratify you
Think about the momentum you create when you get things done on a timely fashion.
Think about all the times you surprised yourself, succeeded at something. There are many more occasions that you might realize.
Think about the things you could be doing instead of wasting your time on things that have no lasting reward. Reading more, listening to more uplifting materials, volunteering or mentoring, exercising or simply prepping your food, or getting your home more organized...

Observe your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly patterns.
Observe what you have been doing that only create more frustration for you.
Observe what create more gratification.
Observe what are some patterns that make you successful in some areas and how you can apply the same patterns to make you successful in reaching your fitness goals or taking your life to the next level.
Observe how you tend to sabotage yourself at times or how you tend to motivate yourself at other occasions and learn from it.
Observe ( best done by keeping a journal) what you eat/ do daily that contribute or hinder your goals.
Observe how you feel when you do what's best for your health (life). Take notes on how great you feel after a workout or after you spend time counting your blessings instead of complaining how powerful it feels to edify others instead of gossiping or pulling them down. How great it feels to put your energy in reading, organizing your space or whatever instead of wasting time watching too much TV or whatever

After all doing all the above, proceed with a plan.
Proceed by mapping in writing where you want to be in a week, in a month, in a year and beyond
Proceed by writing the habits you want to replace.
Proceed with a written to do list that prioritize the activities that will help you reach you goals.
Proceed by creating a system that will allow you to stay motivated when the going get tough.  One thing that helps me stay motivated is to listen every single day, to motivational messages or preaching by would boost my moral, reprogram & renew my mind on a daily basis. I am not motivated to be healthy I am committed to be healthy but I am motivated to do my very best each day. I consider this to be mental conditioning and to me success in reaching my health and fitness goals or any other goals, is more mental than anything. I believe in training my mind!
Proceed by carefully avoiding the people and situations that will hinder your progress. For example, if you know you want to start running but friends invite you to hang out, learn to say no. Go on your run or go to the gym instead of hanging out. If you want to be mindful of what you eat avoid eating out at lot. Learn to cook at home or pack some healthy snacks to curb your appetite when you eat out. Avoid watching too much TV and do a little bit more research on fitness and nutrition or other subjects that will help you improve the quality of your life.
Proceed with consistency, patience & Persistence.

I pray this message helps and encourage you. Thanks for reading and let me know how applying these things benefitted you!
For more encouragement check our previous posts!

Copyrights N'nako @ Healthy Can Be Done! Natural Fit Life. All rights reserved 2013.

Thanks for stopping by, sharing your comments, Following , Liking the FB page, subscribing by email, sharing with your friends and all those good stuffs...(smiles) Until next time have a better and healthier life... N'na

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thank God It's Wednesday. How to stay motivated: 9 ways to stay motivated

"Thank God It's Wednesday!" : How to stay motivated to exercise & eat clean

Hi you all! Thanks for stopping by. I am starting this new series " Thanks God It's Wednesday!" and today I am starting with a few tips on how to stay motivated to exercises & eat clean.
It's easy to tell ourselves on Monday mornings that we will start fresh and strong but come hump day everyone is counting the days to the week-ends and sometimes, based on how the previous days went, people lose their motivation and their focus. Well, I am here to help you change this because I feel that way too at times.

 1)Don't always depend on outside sources to motivate you. Learn to motivate yourself.  I have a system in place to make myself do things when I don't feel like it. One of them is to watch motivational videos every single day. I have programmed myself to do this. I first started by writing it down as a to do list and now it's as natural as getting dressed in the morning.  I play motivational messages every single day and the positivity fuels me to ACT and GET IT DONE! Some of my other tricks are shared below.

 2)If you are new to your fitness journey consider creating a nice wardrobe that would motivate you to take your fitness goals more seriously.
Don't dress sloppy just because you will be sweaty.  Just like you would shop for new clothes for a new job you are excited to start, dress the part for your health. Dressing like an athlete will motivate to act more like one.
You don't have to spend a fortune. Look for clothes on sales or on clearance. If you are in your weight loss journey, you plan on shrinking anyways, so don't put too much money in active wears. Buy a couple of items in a smaller size to motivate you. But do invest in a good pair of running or training shoes and motivate yourself to get better apparels when you reach certain goals.

3) Don't worry about the gym so much. You don't need a membership if you are a on budget or are concerned that you might not have much time. Workout at home and outdoors it will not just save you time and money it will be enjoyable because it's a more natural setting. Use the nice parks surrounding you or even your driveway. I like to tell people that they are tax payers so they might as well take advantage of their surroundings.

4) Collect small workouts equipment you can use at home. If you have the space for a treadmill, a bike or an elliptical invest in one. Consider investing in small things like a jumprope, a stability ball, some free weights and other things that can help you tone up. Keep all your items organized and it will be easy to reach them, use them or even carry them with you. I carry my jumprope in my bag when I know I will be out for long hours.

5) Always prep some food, even if it's done on a very small scale. It will motivate you to eat healthy as you will always have something ready to snack or blend. I love to prep my fruits and veggies for snacking or smoothies.

6) You know snack time doesn't have to include junk food. Reprogram yourself. Some raw fruits, a smoothie, can satisfy a craving for sweets, give you the energy you need to recharge in the middle of the day and nourish you physically and mentally.

7) Enjoy more simple and healthy things that do wonders for your body. Good nutrition doesn't have to be complicated.  Things like 2 cups of green tea a day, adding a spoon of apple cider to your daily diet, sprinkling herbs like cayenne pepper, cinnamon, oregano, ginger etc on your food can impact the quality of your health.

8) Never leave the house without food. I always have at least an apple wrapped in a napkin that I keep in my purse. I generally pack a lunch bag no matter how long I plan on being out. I would snack on an apple before stepping in a store or even before eating out. It calms me to snack on something healthy. And if you have 4 children like I do, it's important to have some healthy snacks with you for yourself and for your little crew.

9) Last but not least: DO IT NOW!!!!

Hello!!!! Don't wait to motivate yourself. Do it now! It's simple really stop putting it off and stop making it so complicated.

More tips to come but join us on Facebook. Check the many albums we have there to serve you for illustration and for motivation. Healthy Can Be Done!
Thanks for reading! This is your girl N.B! See you on Facebook or around here. Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page and let us know how you are doing or how we can help you out!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June's Challenge

Are you on Facebook? Join us and other challengers on our Facebook page.

Thanks for stopping by, sharing your comments, Following , Liking the FB page, subscribing by email, sharing with your friends and all those good stuffs...(smiles)
Until next time have a better and healthier life... N'na

Weight Loss Motivation: Giving Up Is Not An Option

 I love art and hanging in museums and galleries or just watching artists at work in their labs, and yesterday while working out in my garage,

I had this "artistic" understanding of fitness. What sort of triggered it was the motivational videos I was watching while working out and I realized the following:

1) transformation really takes time. Those body and fitness competitors we admire spend years working on their craft = shaping their bodies.

2) we expect our bodies to change overnight when we have spent years neglecting and abusing them with our less than healthy choices

3) It takes discipline, lots of discipline, diligence & hard work and to succeed you have to show up. Show up everyday. You can't show up strong for 3 days and go missing for 60. You're in you're in.
Then I thought about how amazing it is that the body can be shaped and transformed from fat, average, to sculpted and stoning and it made me think of how artists have to invest into they art. The dedication, the concentration, the mindset that unless you put the time in and use the tools you just won't get to your finished piece.
Then I thought about this: Do artist give up on sculpting just because the material they are working with is raw, time consuming and challenging?

They get in their zone, in their own mental & physical world and they get at it!!! And guess what? They don't get the finished product in one session. They set their tools down and come back again, and again and again, chiseling here, chiseling there, melting this, melting that, switching tools, because each tool does a specific task just like with fitness equipment right? Anyway...I just started thinking of my time working out as an artist in a lab.



 Of course it's my body that I am sculpting and I tell you what, I don't care how long it takes me!!!!
 I will keep going and keep going. One healthy meal at a time, one drop of sweat at a time, one smart choice at a time and I absolutely don't care about the scale simply because I know I ain't done!!!!! I am on a mission to sculpt my mind and my body and the scale for me is like an artist looking at its art in a mirror and getting mad if it doesn't look yet like he wants. No, art is to be appreciated and every artist know that the beauty is in the creative process. So...enjoy the journey and don't limit yourself to a scale or whatever. Your body, our bodies, are an amazing, amazing, amazing machine.

 I mean you look at yoga photos, Olympics videos, fitness competitor and you just shake your head thinking about what our bodies can do when our minds are strong. I don't know what's in your mind but I am furiously strengthening mind and I am enjoying this amazing journey because I know that a year from now, 2 years from now, 10 years from now ( God willing) I will reap amazing results because I am in it for the long haul. Giving up just isn't an option, getting discouraged is not an option, stressing over immediate results is just not an option. No baby I am in it for the looooonnng haul! What about you? ~ N'na


Thanks for stopping by, sharing your comments, Following , Liking the FB page, subscribing by email, sharing with your friends and all those good stuffs...(smiles) Until next time have a better and healthier life... N.B

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"How Running Saved My Mind" A True Story.

"How running saved my Mind plus some". A True Story..
As I was putting together the collage for the previous post ( on Facebook), I came across some old pictures that held a painful story to me. It's so easy to just focus on the fact that I am some pounds lighter and think that the transformation is just physical or could just benefit my confidence but...oh there is so much more.

We hear a lot that " eyes" don't lie, but looking at many before and after pictures, of myself and others, I have discovered that even smiles hold a lot of meaning in themselves.
 I came across some pictures from last April and I cried not because of the weight I used to be and have and lost but because of the 'dead weights' I used to carry...and lost...the pounds I dropped since last year are so far from being just physical. I could be here all night trying to explain how I gave birth to my 4 th child just before  my birthday and the day that was expected to be like any other C-section for me, ( I had 3 before) turned out to be a fateful day for both of us.

 Doctors took extra hours keeping me on this earth and just as soon as I was in the recovery room many hours behind schedule, I was told that only some miracles would allow me to return home with her. Four days later we were finally out of the Nicu but not done with many doctors' visits...I am still praising God for the miracles.

 This is the part my weight loss journey can't never tell based on pictures. On one picture I am with my college best friend. She visited last April with her family and teased how I used to be so small in college, me a size zero, she explained how she used to wonder how I could fit in skirts so small.

 Hard to swallow that I am now next to her on a couch and I was so big that my knee-long dress almost looked like a mini when I sat down.
We were saying our goodbyes and I smiled for the camera. But while holding the baby and smiling with her I was wondering..." should I tell her what the doctors said..."?
 I never did tell her. I kept my faith or fears to myself and just wondered how I would survive mentally. I was falling apart inside but holding strong outside! Does this sound familiar?

  When my patient and loving husband  insisted that I finally accompany him running, I was so drained, so tired of explaining why I can't or won't that I did it! I used to say that I wasn't a runner, that I could only run on a treadmill, that I couldn't run outdoors because I was big and people would laugh, .... Sometimes you get so low that it doesn't matter anymore what others think. I hated my " big short figure" in the new tight and tank top I had bought a month ago...but I did it anyway!

The rest....the rest is history like they say...but it's the story I rarely share! Fitness is not always about losing weight. You have to " occupy" till He comes. Sometimes it's in the midst of you stepping forward in faith that your miracle happens like Moses who had to step in the Red sea before it split. Not a moment before.

I am sharing this because I need to just be authentic. Yes I wanted to lose weight, yes it feels great to be smaller but the reason why I started running was to keep me alive on the inside....running outdoors has blessed me  so much. It allowed me to bond with my husband at a time my health and the baby's health was consuming me and draining me.
It allowed me  to worship God in a new way at a time when I was getting too drained to even pray for myself. Being in nature is such a gift when you are a Believer because it makes it impossible not to feel God's presence.
 It helped me to dig deep within at a time when I was doubting myself more than could I raise 4 kids, be a good mom and a good wife when I didn't know what the future held for my baby girl?  Running saved my mind...the physical weight loss is only a positive side effect! This is my true story!

My name is Nako, I am a mother of four, a Believer, a Runner and Running saved My Mind!
If you are already part of our Facebook community please let me know how this story spoke to you.
If you are not yet part of our Facebook community please join us on there and give us the pleasure of meeting you.
Join me on Facebook!

Monday, April 8, 2013

HOW TO HELP OVERWEIGHT KIDS LOSE WEIGHTS: Tips to help children be healthy

Tips to keep your children healthy.
* I have received some requests on my Facebook page to share those tips  so I hope in help others. Please met us on our Facebook page for great healthy tips!
Either you have a child that's overweight or you want to raise the bar for your already healthy children here are a few things to consider NUTRITION & ACTIVITY


1) Remove all the junk food and temptation from your home.
2) In teaching your children to eat healthier have them involved in the process, cooking, grocery shopping, actively learning the health benefits of the food they are eating.
3) To make some more serious change in their nutrition increase the consumption of their healthy favorite and gradually add some of the least favorite by using very creative ways of cooking. Smoothies or blending veggies before adding them to soups or meat dishes can play the trick.
4) Pack their school lunch and always pack a healthy snack when you are on the go. Never give them or yourself a reason to stop at a drive thru or at the grocery store for processed food.
5) Think more in terms of fresh and more food that do not come in a box or in a wrap. True healthy food really doesn't have a lot of packaging or labeling.


6) Turn the games, get off the couch get a bike, a jumprope, some balls ( basketball, soccer, football) or just go on a walk but GET YOUR CHILD OUT OF THE HOUSE to throw ball, play catch,...
7) If the school is close by WALK TO & FROM SCHOOL.
8) More walking less driving
9) More family times outdoors enjoying nature, walking, fishing, swimming, discovering new areas around less time seating on couch or on social media
10) Always offer intellectual stimulation, curiosity and a passion for learning give everyone a silent desire to live better. Go to outdoor concerts, to the museums...make learning fun & interactive.
11) If you should stay home and play games make sure that the games force you & your children to move. There are great fitness games available.
Seat together at the table for meals. It allows for more quality time, time to talk and bond and ideal to maintain healthy eating and emotional habits!
Adopt this healthy lifestyle with your children, doing things as a team is more powerful and by practicing what you preach you will be more impactful.
Enlist the people around you to support your endeavors. Let them know what your strategy is, learn from theirs if they have some suggestions and Make it happen.
All those suggestions will come naturally with time as there are very doable and 'natural'!


1) Retirer de votre cuisine toute nourriture qui n'est pas bonne pour la santé ou tentation.
2) Pour enseigner a vos enfants a mieux se nourrir, impliquez les dans le processus quand vous cuisinez, faites le course au marche, et apprenez facons active les bienfaits des aliments que vous consommez.
3) Augmentez la consummation de leur aliments sains favoris et ajoutez de maniere croissante les aliments qu'ils aiment le moins, Avec de l'astuce et de la creativite vous pourrez rajouter ses aliments aux smoothies ou les brouiller pour les rajouter a vos soups ou a vos sauces.
4) Faite de gouter d'ecole de vos enfants et assurez vous que vous avez toujours de bon aliments comme goute meme les jours ou il n'y a pas d'ecole.
5) En faisant les achats pensez plus aux aliments frais et a ceux qui ne viennent pas en boite ou avec beaucoup d'emballage. Les frais aliments sains et nutritifs n'ont pas besoin de beaucoup d'emballage, ni de beaucoup d'etiquettes.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Warrior's Wednesday

Definition of Warrior
fighter: somebody who takes part in or is experienced in warfare
somebody in conflict: somebody who takes part in a struggle or conflict


It's Wednesday and maybe you want to rest after going strong Monday & Tuesday, I hope you did, or may be you want to use it as another slacking day! Well don't!
Instead, go on what I now call WARRIOR MODE!
I prefer Warrior to the common beast mode. Why Warrior? Because Warriors have dignity, they have honor, they have passion, they have skills and endurance that make them admirable!
In your fitness journey you are not fighting anyone but yourself. Now imagine that you are in a fight like this one below! But you are not fighting anyone but You. You are fighting the person that gave you excuses after excuses. The one that gave up when she could keep pushing! The person that whined and complained when she could shut up and get to work!!!

You have to get your mind right if you plan on lasting and winning!
Warrior Wednesday might as well be Winner's Wednesday! Because you are in this to win!
So today
1) Get your mind right and believe that you can do it and if you have a strong faith in yourself just use the little faith you got because all you need is a little bit of faith. The more you go at it the more your will grow confident.
2) Commit to it! Why? Why not? What have you gain by going half way, cheating on too many meals, making too many excuses? Come on! Commit and take it one day at a time
3)Never Give Up! You are in you are in! Quitting and Giving up are not an option. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!
Now, stick around our Facebook page, share it with your friends and become an ambassador of Healthy Can Be Done!
Welcome Warrior! Welcome to the Tribe of Winners. Welcome to Tribe Healthy!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

March Challenge Mind Body & Soul Challenge: My Review

This is my first draft of my review...I will polish it later but if you want to read all means ...

In the course of the month of March I have committed to reading a book.

I selected Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant. The book was available at the Dollar Store and even though I never heard of Robyn Okrant till then, I needed to pick a book for the month and for just $1.00 the price and the timing were perfect! I bought and started the book after the first week of march and completed it on the 23rd.
The book was very funny and very pleasant. The only thing I didn't like is the use of random cursed words at about 6-10 occasions throughout the book. I do not use cursed words and was disappointed to see them used in a book.  I love books and expect them to offer me intellectual satisfaction at many level.
I am glad she didn't use cursed words more than she did. Beside this aspect of the book I found myself laughing out loud at many occasions.  Since part of our March Challenge was to do something new each week, the book offered some interesting things that I intend on practicing and they were references to other books that I certainly intend on checking out.

In the course of the month I tried some new things from food to simple activities.
One of them was food from a local café called Dipped Fresh when the weirdest thing is, the mother of the owner has been a member on my Facebook page for quite a while.

I visited a couple of weeks ago a Surf Shop and enquired about things such as Stand Up Paddling and skateboarding. I am very opened to try both especially SUP! I bought myself a bracelet there that I love wearing now. It makes me feel cool and beachy ha ha ha!

I have been consistent with my workouts doing 2 sometimes 3 shorts workouts sessions within the same day and including some toning through weight lifting and resistance training.

Not eating after 7pm has been a challenge on some days but when I did I stuck to light snacks or meals.
My raw days were Thursdays and some Thursdays were hard as my husband would make Chili. They were days when I was eating more like 80 % raw instead of 100%. But in the course of the month my intake of fresh raw food and smoothies has been very consistent.

My attitude this month has been pretty good! I kept my gratitude journal most days and it helped me refocus on those days when I had a slump. I appreciate that when I most needed someone who is a member of my Facebook page would send me an encouraging text message expressing her appreciation for the page and the content I share and it would boost me in more ways than she could have imagined.

Overall the challenge and administrating the page have kept me focused and accountable.

I personally prefer doing a Mind Body & Soul Challenge  versus a physical challenge because just focusing on working out alone is not enough to keep me healthy overall. As a mother of 4 young ones, I am aware that my mind needs stimulation and positive focus to help me appreciate any physical efforts I put in. People say that working out will make you happy and it's very true but there are times when you are done working out and given your best and something happen in the course of the day that can make you feel so frustrate and sad and building the habit of reading, consciously learning new things, pampering myself  ect always help me in ways working out alone can't!

Did you do the March Challenge? If yes how did you benefit from it? Please join us for our April Challenge!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Brown Sugar and Raw Honey Scrub

The Raw Honey and Brown Sugar Scrub.

I am a strong believer in using kitchen ingredients to pamper and treat myself.

The Raw Honey & Brown Sugar Scrub is excellent for your face, as a body scrub and for  rough areas on your body, such as elbows, knees and feet. For a wonderful scrub that you can use once or twice per week, here is all that you need to do:


  • Raw honey: The use of raw honey gently exfoliates the skin and stimulates circulation without causing irritation and dryness. Raw honey is a humectant which has the quality of attracting and retaining moisture, so it balances the skin moisture to give a soft glowing complexion. Another one of the amazing raw honey benefits for skin is its protection against sunburns.
  • Brown Sugar: Exfoliating the skin with a brown sugar scrub cleans and tightens pores giving the skin a more even uniform appearance; pores look smaller, skin tone more even. It can also diminish the damage to the skin caused by acne and other skin conditions. Using a brown sugar scrub improves your skin's ability to retain its natural moisture balance.
  • Oil such as Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Tea tree oil or other body oil I add a few drops to make the paste more manageable.
  • Essential Oil (optional) Scented oils such as lavender, eucalyptus and others, should never be used directly on skin so make sure to mix to oil or lotion prior to using.
  • Wash Cloth

  • Mix 1 TBSP Raw Honey to 1 TBSP of Brown Sugar Add drops of  oil geared. If prone to   acne, some oils will help with controlling it . Consider peppermint, tea tree or rosemary for example.
  •  Apply the mixture to a clean face in upward circular motions for 3-5 minutes. Take your damp warm wash cloth and gently wipe the mixture off of your face. Repeat until the scrub is completely removed. Follow with a cool water rinse. Tone. Moisturize.
Oh my Goodness, your face is going to faithfully thank you for this one. Your skin is going to feel extremely smooth as the facial removes excess oil and dead skin cells through exfoliation.
If dealing with acne  this scrub works overtime to relieve you from it
 And really, who doesn't want healthy, smooth, hydrated skin?

I try to do this facial scrub at least two times per week. I love this scrub because it's inexpensive and works wonders. Give it a try before you spend your money on chemical peels, commercial facial scrubs, etc.
Check more Pampering articles by entering pampering or self care in the search box.

Thanks for reading and please join us on Facebook we would love to meet you there!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013



This is for all our Facebook friends and those of you who come across this link please join us on Facebook. If you can not join us on Facebook, you can still join in the fun and leave comments here on the blog! I hope to hear from you!


MARCH PROMISE: Take Massive Actions and Raise your Commitment to your Health in every areas of your life. Health emotionally, financially, mentally, physically and so on...

Avoir un jour dans la semaine ou vous ne mangerez ques des crudités ou a la rigueur un jour ou vous ne consommerez pas de viands.

Boire un smoothie ou un jus frais par jour et pas de repas lourds après 19h.

Vous exerciser 20-30 minutes 6 jours dans la semaine si vous etes debutants.
Faire 2 activites sportives dans la meme journee, 4 jours de la semaine si vous etes deja actifs.
Faire de la musculation 2-3 fois par semaien quelques soit votre niveau athletic.

Consacrer 15 minutes, 5 fois dans la semaine, a vous etirer.

Lire un livre ce mois ci. Si vous pouvez lire 2 a 3 livres faite le.

VI- DO SOMETHING NEW ONCE A WEEK. Try new volunteering activities, a new family activity, a new sport, check a new type of restaurant with healthy option, visit a new attraction, whatever it is do something that is out of your ordinary activities.
Faire une activite nouvelle une fois par semaine.

VII- COMMIT TO RESTING, PAMPERING YOURSELF ONCE A WEEK. It can be 2 hours to yourself once a week or 10 minutes daily.
Consacrer un jour de la semaine a se ressourcer, reposser et se poupouner!

SELECT A REWARD TO TREAT YOURSELF AFTER COMPLETING THE CHALLENGE. It could be a new pair of running shoes, new athletic gears or new outfits, it could be a small getaway or a new electronic gadget but no food related.


CHECK IN OFTEN TO LET US KNOW HOW YOU ARE DOING. It will help you in celebrating your efforts, keeping yourself accountable and motivating others to actions!


* In case you wonder why I don't have the typical physical challenge that most Facebook Fitness pages offer here's my reasons.
1)Many people are already following fitness pages and I don't want to add a physical challenge that would lead them to over commit and sabotage their focus.
2) There's more to our well being than being able to do 100 push ups or burpees or 2 minutes wall sit up! Our overall wellness is more important to me.
3) I prefer to be myself and not copy others, to each one his/her strengths and creating physical challenges is not my thing at this point in time.

Thanks for joining us in this challenge!

                                      HAVE  A VERY BLESSED MONTH OF MARCH!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

How to be more mindful & healthier February Challenge

This is a Mind Body & Soul challenge that I shared on our facebook page. Please join us on Facebook for more daily tips & inspiration.
The reason behind this challenge is that there is more to successful weight loss than just exercising and eating right. Paying more attention to our minds & souls would prevent emotional eating for example and give us more awareness about the quality of our lives. It's my prayer that living with more awareness will increase the desire to live better and make smart choices that would lead us cloer to our goals. Join in the challenge. Let us know what part speaks the most to you and see you on Facebook!

~Mind Body & Soul February Challenge~

Eat a healthy breakfast every day no skipping
Eat one salad a day
... Juice or make one smoothie a day
Set your table and dine solo or with your family. Turn the TV off, play some nice music as you so desire but eat peacefully 3-5 times a week or the whole week if you can. Have one meal a day where you are enjoying your food mindfully.
Exercise 5 times a week. Even when you are short on time commit, to short exercise videos or play some music and dance with all you got.
Commit 10 minutes a day to stretching your body.
Pamper yourself twice a week or more. There are many fun homemade spa treatments you can treat yourself to. Give yourself a facial or foot massage at least 2X a week.
Have a couple of hours to yourself once a week. A whole day is ideal but I am a wife & a mother of 4, I know it's not that easy to do.
Take 10-20 minutes to meditate/relax daily.
READ 20 minutes at leat 5X a week. Pick a book & READ! Read to your young child 20 minutes 5X a week.
Turn your daily commute, or daily chores into an eductational time by playing audio books or motivational messages.
Watch less TV.
Go to bed early. 10:30 pm is still my biggest challenge :-)
Keep a gratitude journal this month and write daily 10 things you are grateful for.
Say thank you more. Write Thank You Note, give appreciation gifts just because, contact people who have been a blessing to you and say THANK YOU.
Do a random act of kindness every single day this month.
When someone talks to you, focus on them not your phone or whatever.
Remove chaos & distractions the best you can.
Simplify your life. ( Take time to examine what you are still doing that no longer works for you and stop it).
Kick start your Spring cleaning and commit 20 minutes 3X a week to decluttering or reorganizing a space that needs your attention.
Listen don't just hear, look don't just glance or vaguely see.
Research & study something new to you. Be curious & learn on purpose.
Listen better to others and.... to yourself...
Keep a journal this month & see how well you are doing in this Mind Body & Soul challenge.