Oh No! My Vacation Will Ruin My Diet!

Hey y’all As my first post of 2016, I am bringing both a personal issue and a personal advice to the blog. I’ll start by telling the whole story. I do voluntary work at Church Camp with a lot of my friends, and while I love to do that with all of my heart, I was a wee bit worried about the food I’d be consuming during that period. More precisely, for 16 days I’d have to be out of my diet and gym routine.

After the holidays, I gained 10 pounds. 10! How is that even possible since I’m an ectomorph? I really don’t know. But nevertheless it happened (or maybe my scale is broken since I’ve stepped on it thrice with less than a minute in between and it showed different weights every time). Even though I’m not sure about how much weight I’ve put on, I’m very much aware that my six pack is gone and my arm flab came striking back. I’m not saying I’m fat or anything, I’m still a 24. Thing is, I lost the body I worked so hard to get in approximately two weeks by eating around 5000 calories every day when my BMR is around 1300. I wanted my old body back so so much I made a huge mistake: I told the Church leaders I wouldn’t be attending camp this season. Only yesterday did I notice the huge mistake I was making.

I was giving up on helping my Church and helping kids in need because I was obsessing over my body. What the heck was I doing? I prayed about it a lot, and apologized to God because I had to get over myself. I then called the Church leaders and asked if there was still a spot for me on the team, and they let me in. At that moment, I realized how important camp is to me. I get to work in the kingdom of God and have a lot of fun with so many people I love and I turned it down because of me. I was selfish and untrustworthy. They needed me, and I let them down. I was so lucky they took me back (even though it was for just haft of the season).

It hit me too late that I didn’t have to stop doing what I loved doing to get back to what I used to be. It hit me too late that I really didn’t need to food prep for 16 days because they couldn’t offer me brown rice and grilled salmon for lunch. It hit me too late that the calories in-calories out idea I’ve always despised if not followed with a clean diet was the answer I had to fighting the fat I gained last year and still be able to go to camp and do what I do best. So what if I’m going to be taking in a bit more sodium because the camp cooks use salt and I might eat a little vegetable oil because they grill their chicken breasts like that? I’m not the important one in this equation. God is, and so are those kids we’ll be taking care of. And I’m really happy it at least hit me, even though it was late.

So my advice to you guys is don’t stop doing what you enjoy doing just to take care of your appearance. I totally understand what it’s like to look at yourself and see that you need to change, and fast. But sometimes, it’s just not about you. Though it becomes about you when you see how much you love doing what you do for others. If someone else benefits from you not going to the gym for a while or watching what you eat even though it’s not what you’d rather be eating, it’s worth it. A journey you start to help yourself has got to motivate you to help others too. Because you learn to put yourself in their place. And with this post, I’m announcing that I will be going to camp next week. And I’ll probably break my diet at some point. But I won’t regret it at all because those kids will be reaping the benefits from that.

But don’t you guys worry, I’ll still be updating the blog. Some of the things I post, though, might be queued, so if I don’t answer your comments, that’s why. Cell reception isn’t very good there anyway. I hope you’ll still be visiting when I get back. I also hope you’ll take what I’ve written in consideration and won’t make the mistakes I made. I’ll talk to y’all soon!


Hey, guys! I know it pretty much seems like I’m gone or something because I haven’t posted anything in over a week. I’d like to explain myself for that. My internet provider simply decided to work on the cables in my city and they cut everybody’s internet here. I couldn’t go online for 6 days! It was a horrid, horrid experience. I was extremely worried about the blog, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to update it at all. I’m so sorry! I had written some posts about DIY Christmas Presents and what to wear on holiday parties, but now it’s way too late to post them… If you’d like to see them anyway, please leave a comment below and I’ll out them up. Otherwise, I’d just like to apologize and tell you that next year I will be a much better blogger and I won’t let these things get me down! I’ll post even if I have to go to Starbucks and use their wi-fi! Thank you so much for your patience and understanding, though. A merry Christmas to all of ya!

Spice Up Your Life: How Seasonings Can Improve Your Eating Habits


Am I the only one who gets tired of eating boring, bland food? I’ve always had an immense passion for trying different flavors and incorporating new spices into my meals. However, I’d never really thought about the benefits of that. I’ve always done it mainly because of taste (I’m a foodie!). Recently, though, while reading some articles about clean eating, I came across a lot of information about the spices I used. I was impressed by how much they can mess with your body and help bring good results for those who are looking not only to lose weight, but to improve their health in general.
Did you know that the tastier your food is, the less you eat? That’s because when you’re eating a tasteless meal, you seem to believe you need more of it to feel satisfied. It seems kind of controversial, because when something tastes good, we most likely want to eat more of it. Still, the feeling of satiety is there – we’re the ones who ignore it. So whenever you need to cut back portions, try and use something other than the regular salt and pepper: these seasonings get boring really easily.
Another interesting thing is that spices aid in digestion. Some of them are even used in medicinal preparations against digestive disorders! They are capable of stimulating enzyme activities that are responsible for digestion, speeding up your metabolism. Also, they induce your body to release more bile acids, which are important for fat digestion and absortion. Some great flavors to add to your meals to get those results are ginger, fennel, oregano, rosemary and basil.
For those on a diet, another benefit is that spices are a great way to add taste to your food without any caloric increase. Many people usually look to butter and supermarket-bought dressings as go-to flavorings, but in excess, they can ruin anyone’s macros. I don’t know about you, but I’d choose smoked paprika and garlic powder over Caeser Dressing any day!
Spicy food has also been proven to help reduce the risk of cancer. Peppers contain capsaicin, a compound both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which activates cell receptors in the intestinal lining, lowering the risk of tumors. Research shows that capsaicin suppresses the growth of human prostate cancer but leaves the normal cells unharmed. In mice, about 80% of prostate cancer cells were killed by capsaicin, and the tumors shrank.
Last but not least, microbiologists have conducted experiments that have shown that many spices have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Apparently, some spices could inhibit at least 75% of the bacterial species on which they were tested. The most potent ones were garlic, onion, allspice and oregano, which killed 100% of the bacteria. For that reason, spices can help foods take longer to spoil, giving us more time to consume them (hello, meal prep!).
With all of those benefits, I am proud to say that I’m a huge lover of spicy foods. The way I see it, there are no cons to eating them. Who wouldn’t want lower chance of disease, great taste and a sped up metabolism with pretty much zero calories? I know I do! How about you guys? What are some of your favorite spices and recipes in which you use them? Let me know in the comments below!

3 Starbucks Drink Mockups for the Healthy Gal


        I must confess something to you guys. Starbucks is probably my biggest guilty pleasure. Some time ago, I couldn’t stay away from it. That’s probably what I miss the most from my unhealthy habits. I thought that was just fine because every 12 times I went there, I got a free coffee (shoutout to all of you gold members out there)! But did you guys know a Venti Caramel Macchiato has almost 50g of sugar in it? Like, seriously, where does all of that go?  Especially if you have one every single day, like I did?

        Right now, I can tell you: it’s been over two months since I’ve had their coffee. I did sip one of the Christmas specials, but just because my boyfriend said it tasted weird and I wanted to double check that, given my Starbucks expertise. But I drank so little I don’t even know if it actually counts (I hope it doesn’t).

        Seeing all those red, wintery cups made me crave some coffee of my own. “How can I have Starbucks without ruining my diet?”, I asked myself. There had to be a way. So I came home and started mixing a bunch of different healthy things that I thought would make a good Frappuccino-like drink. These are the ones I liked the best.

1. Caramel Macchiato

Ingredients: 1 1/4 tbsp Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup or Maple Syrup (Vanilla tastes better)
1 cup of Ice
1 cup of Sugar Free Almond Milk
1 or 2 Espresso Shots
1 1/4 tbsp Coconut Caramel
Instructions: Add the syrup to a glass, followed by the ice and the milk. Pour the coffee in and top with the caramel syrup.
2. White Chocolate Mocha

Ingredients: 2 tbsp 5 Sparrows Sugar Free White Chocolate Powder
1 or 2 Espresso Shots
1 cup Ice
1 cup Sugar Free Almond Milk
Instructions: Add milk to a cup and mix in the white chocolate powder. Pour in the ice, followed by the coffee.
3. Peanut Butter Frappuccino

Ingredients: 1 cup Sugar Free Almond Milk
1/3 cup Sugar Free Maple Syrup or Honey
1 cup Ice
2 tbsp of Natural Peanut Butter
1 or 2 Espresso Shots
Instructions: Blend ingredients until smooth.

I know, some of these ingredients are a little hard to find, or even to make. But these kinds of drinks are not something you should be having everyday, anyway. Take your time to make them and you won’t regret it. But don’t indulge in them just because they’re healthy! They might be a lot lower in calories than the original Starbucks drinks, but some of those calories are still empty.

Christmas iPhone Wallpapers

The holidays are my favorite time of the year. By the time my calendar hits November first, it’s already Christmas. I start listening to themed playlists on Spotify and watching cheesy festive movies as well. One of my favorite holiday activities is house decorating. And even though I love it so much and usually I’d already have my house all ready by mid-November, this has been a tough year. I haven’t even bought my tree yet! So earlier today I thought to myself: there’s something else I can easily decorate which is not going to take up all my time – my phone! I spent the last two hours trying to design a few cute iPhone wallpapers on Photoshop, but let’s just say creativity is not on my side today. I, then, went online to look for cute printables I could size up and make Christmas iPhone wallpapers out of. These were the ones I liked the most, and I hope you enjoy them too!





**No copyright infringement intended. All arts that I haven’t made are linked to the websites in which I found them.

How to Stay Healthy and Motivated: My Tips for Beginners

How to Stay Healthy And Motivated: My Tips for Beginners

You know how you kind of get addicted to going to the gym when you first sign up to one but a couple of weeks later you just forget get about it? Yeah, so do I. Three times I tried to get my body on track and failed to do it. However, my fourth attempt was easier than the ones that came beforehand. I tried to gather a few of the things I did this time around in a list, so that maybe it could help some of you guys get the hang of it before I did.

1.Set a goal

Changing your life temporarily is easy. Keeping things on the long term is what’s hard. How can you be determined to do just that if you don’t even know what you want? Are you doing this for aesthetics or are you doing it for your health? Do you want to get ripped, strong, or just lose a couple of pounds? Always keep your goal in mind: it’s what’s going to keep you focused everyday.

2. Track what you eat

Even before you change your diet, start tracking every bite you take. Do that for about a week or until you get the hang of it. I suggest buying a kitchen scale to help you with that. That way, you’ll be able to actually see the difference between your eating habits before and after your changed your lifestyle.

3. Do it all at once

Change is just like ripping a bandaid: if you do it quick, it’ll hurt less. I’m not a believer in “a little bit at a time”. Had I allowed myself to have a cheat meal all the time in the beginning, that would just have made my cravings worse. Just stay away from the foods you know you shouldn’t be eating for a while. Remember always that self control is the center of this journey you’re starting.

4. Take progress photos and step away from the scale

Many people gain weight after joining the gym. They might think there’s something wrong, but that’s actually how it’s supposed to be! If your weight is up, that means you’re gaining muscle mass. It’s a good thing! The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will be. Which means that you’ll burn more fat in a smaller period of time. So instead of worrying too much about the number you read on a scale, just take progress pictures so you can actually see the difference.

5. Do HIIT sessions weekly

To see all the muscle you’ve gained, you will most likely have to lose some fat. Nothing better than HIIT to do that for you! High-intensity interval training is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. Your heart rate will be changing, thus causing your body to burn more fat in less time. Also, you can never HIIT a plateau (see what I did there?) with this kind of exercise, because it’s ever-changing and your body won’t get used to that. Here are a couple of HIIT routines for you to try out.

6. Prepare your food beforehand

You’re most likely to quit a diet if you have to worry about cooking all the time. Food prep is the best way to keep you from doing that. Since your food is ready, you have no reason to NOT eat it and order something higher in calories and bad fat instead. When I started prepping my food, I wanted to watch tons of videos about that to get some inspiration. This video’s my favorite. It’s both proof that it can be inexpensive to eat healthy and that diets don’t have to be boring!

7. Surround yourself with people who support your life choices

Not eating pizza already sucks. Not eating pizza with all of your friends telling you to eat it is even worse. If you don’t think you have enough willpower to say no, it’s extremely important to find people who will help you with that. There are tons of online communities where you can meet new people, and making friends at the gym is actually not that hard! I challenge you to try that.

8. Be patient

Fitness is a lifestyle. It can take a little time for you to see changes in your body and your health. But you can’t give up! Keep on taking progress pictures and thinking about your goals. You’ll go a long way if you allow yourself to do so.

9. Plan your cheat meals

I know, I said you shouldn’t have cheat meals at all when you’re starting out. But I understand there are situations you simply can’t avoid. Maybe it’s your birthday or thanksgiving. I totally get it. But you’ve got to make sure you don’t overeat! Your weekly calories still have to be on a deficit, otherwise you’ll lose all the progress you made. I bet you don’t want that. Make a deal with yourself. You can’t eat any more from the moment you get up from the table. Just remember, that’s not an “eat all you can in one sitting” pass. Be reasonable!

10. Take some time to read inspirational stories and quotes

Seeing other people succeed at what we’re doing makes us believe we’re capable as well. Look at before and after pictures, listen to advice from people who’ve been where you are. It’s only going to make you stronger and more focused. Here are a couple success stories for you to read today.

No matter what we choose to make of our lives, perseverance is always the key. Be faithful and know that you’re capable of achieving anything you work hard for. Don’t ever give up on yourself!

To Die For Nutella Pecan Cookie Cups

Doesn’t cooking for someone special make the entire process more fun? I’ve found that making food for other people is much more pleasant than doing it for myself. I don’t really know why: might be because it’s nice to see people enjoying something I’ve done. Last weekend I had a couple of friends over and I wanted to show them some love. Couldn’t think of a better way than to put two things I knew they loved together: freshly baked cookies and Nutella.

As I was busy taking care of my guests, I didn’t have time to actually write down a recipe of my own. I headed straight to Laura Vitale‘s blog because I knew I’d find easy and delicious recipes there. Didn’t take me too long to choose the one I wanted: S’mores Cookie Cups. “Seems simple enough”, I thought to myself as I gathered the ingredients. And I was right! In no time I had the cookie dough ready to go inside my mini muffin tins. All I had to do now was get the Nutella filling ready.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a peanut lover. I had some leftover PB in my counter I wanted to use up, so I decided to put some of that inside the cookie cups as well. To keep the nutty mixture top notch, I decided to garnish the cookie with pecans later on. Best choice I could’ve made.


Cookie Dough
1 1/3 cups of All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 cup of Crushed Graham Crackers
1/2 tsp of Salt
1/2 tsp of Baking soda
1 Egg
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup of Unstalted Butter (room temperature)
1/3 cup of Brown Sugar
1/4 cup of Chocolate chips

1/2 cup of Nutella
1/3 cup of Peanut Butter

12 Pecans cut in half
2 tbsp of Crushed Graham Crackers
2/3 cup of melted semi sweet chocolate chips


1. Line baking tray with aluminum foil and divide the Nutella and Peanut Butter in 24 small sized balls. Put the tray in the fridge and leave it there until you’re done with the dough.
Laura’s Directions
2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, the chocolate chips, salt, baking soda and crushed Graham Crackers. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter with both kinds of sugar, add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until your dough has come together.
Back to my directions
5. Using a spoon, divide 2/3 of the dough between the 24 prepped mini muffin holes. Set the rest of the dough aside.
6. After putting one frozen Nutella and Peanut Butter ball in each cup, divide the remaining dough into 24 pieces and use those to cover the cookies. With the help of a toothpick, press the edges of the cookies to secure the top.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the tops brown.
8. Remove the tray from the oven. When the cookies are cool, spread the melted chocolate on the top of each cookie cup.
9. Sprinkle the crushed Graham Crackers over the melted chocolate and finish up by adding the chopped pecan.

6 Things I Learned From Taking a Gap Year

For most of my life, I was one of the smart kids. That kind of girl you’d look at and say “she’s definitely going to college”. In my head, I kind of agreed. Probably because I’d never really thought about other possibilities. When I finally got to college, my family was thrilled: they told everyone about it. It was kind of therapeutic to them, it seemed, telling people about “all the great colleges that accepted me”. But to be honest, I couldn’t care less.

It was always the same with me. I got super excited for the semester before it started, and then it all went away. This time, though, there was nothing. No gleam in my eyes when I thought about learning new things and meeting new people. It was just… boring. I knew I would’t be studying anything that actually mattered to me. I was going to college simply because there was nothing else for me to do.

Surprisingly, I didn’t last much. I don’t think I even stood there for two months. I went to class a bunch of times and then I just stopped going. My family was really disappointed with me. But you can’t expect someone to keep on doing the things they don’t want to do for too long. So I decided to drop out and take a year off. At first, I did it to concentrate on my music studies. But then it turned out to be much more than that.

             1. Some time off makes you want to be better at your studies.
Remember that gleam I told you about? Yeah, it was back. I actually missed sitting down in a classroom and taking notes about stuff, and that’s something I never thought I’d say. Knowledge is everywhere, and you don’t need university to get it. But it’s easier to do so when you have all the resources that schools give you.

             2. When you don’t have school duties, you find out what you really lean toward doing.
When no one tells you what to do, you have to do it yourself. If you take a gap year, you’ll find out what drives you most, and it can be something really unexpected. My biggest passion is music, and I have no doubt about that. During my gap year, though, I found out I have some mad cooking skills, and many times I chose baking over writing a new song. That, folks, can help you find out the career you really want to pursue.

             3. Dealing with different people can be easier than expected.
No matter what you choose to do in your gap year, you will be out of your comfort zone. But most of the people you’ll meet will be out of their comfort zone, too. I met so many new kids in so many different environments. It wasn’t something I could dodge, since getting to know different lifestyles was a huge thing for me during that time. It was hard at first, looking at people who lived in different realities from my own. But getting to know their essence was easy since they had nothing to hide (you must agree that most of us really hide our true selves during high school). That way, we got along fine simply because we all had good intentions.

             4. People will criticize you for not going to college straight away.
Especially if you were admitted, that is. Some folks just can’t understand how important it is to take some time for yourself. They believe you’re doing something wrong simply because you’re not following society’s idea of the “perfect timeline”. You know, that one in which you graduate, get a job, get married and then have kids. That timeline just doesn’t seem enchanting to me. What does a degree mean for your job and your marriage if you have no life experience at all? The hours you spent inside a classroom won’t help you solve any problems. However, the time you spent meeting different people and places will.

             5. You’ll brush up the skills you already have and develop new ones.
With so much time to do whatever you want to, you’ll most likely engage in new activities and even get back to those you left behind. I experienced that with graphic designing, songwriting, cooking, weightlifting and reading also. I read over 15 books in less than a year! By getting better at the things you like to do, you’ll be a much more qualified professional, and you’ll be getting some field experience too!

             6. Not having anything specific to do gets boring.
Bet you didn’t think I’d say so, heh? Truly, anything that becomes routinely gets boring. It’ll be so much fun in the beginning. My guilty pleasure was sending my best friends snaps of me at the beach while they were stuck in uni. Yeah, I’m kind of mean. But if you don’t create a schedule and find some things to do, you’ll start sleeping in everyday and not really conquering anything at all. That’s not what a gap year is about. You won’t be very enriched from sitting around watching Netflix all day long (unless you’re wathing Breaking Bad, of course).

Now that my gap is almost over, I cherish every moment of it. I’m happy to say I’ve grown a lot as a person thanks to the experiences I’ve had this past year. And even though there are some negative sides (that’s a subject for another post) to bailing out of college temporarily, I’m extremely happy I made the decision to spend some time off. If you can afford to do so, by all means do it; you surely won’t regret it.