6 Supposedly Healthy Foods You Should Be Avoiding

The thing about the food and fitness industry is, marketing and advertising goes farther than science.  It’s a sad reality, and is one of the reason so many people are quick to fall for gimmicks, nutrition labeling etc.  Just today I went grocery shopping and was baffled at how the industry charges more or hides poison in their labeling.  Here were the top 6 offenders that stood out to me today.

  1. Fit and Active brand popcorn versus the generic brand popcorn:  Fit and Active brand was almost a dollar more expensive and when you compare the labels…the EXACT same thing.  Just because something is labeled fit and active or something along those lines does not necessarily make it any better.
  2. Sugar: A bunch of BS, and WORSE for you! Your brain gets the same stimulation only instead of being natural, it’s synthetic, can mess up insulin regulation, and most are metabolized in to carcinogens…cancer causing agents.  Go for REAL sugar, avoid the sugar alcohol.  Even in moderation, real sugar is better than fake.  Same goes for regular vs diet sodas
  3. Arctic Zero Ice Cream:  People love it because it is low calorie, has minimal protein, but just like sugar free labels are ridded with sugar alcohols.  Limit sugar alcohols as much as possible (generally anything that ends in “ol” ie. sorbitol, erythritol, maltitol)
  4. Low Fat anything:  Your body NEEDS healthy fats.  Low fat labels are usually a guise for companies to add sugars and MORE sugar alcohols in order to make the food tastier since removing fat makes food less appetizing. Whole fat is totally OK!
  5. Organic Tostitos:  While the ingredients may be “cleaner” they have more sodium and do in my opinion more harm because people consume more of it thinking it’s healthier.
  6. Organic Granola: uhmmmm 36g of sugar per serving and only 8g of protein? what?! READ your labels!! Ideally there will be no added sugar.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Day 6: Wedding Anniversary Plans

Ironically the first time I ever do a blog challenge, and I am actually married.  Even more of a coincidence, June 17th, is our 6 month anniversary.

For our 6 month anniversary we plan on going out for some sushi to celebrate making it through the transition period of living together for the first time…LOL!

But for our 1 year anniversary as of now the plan is to celebrate it by hitting up all of the Disney parks and possibly making it up to Giraffe Ranch near Tampa.  We haven’t solidified the plans as my husband is currently doing a professional MBA meaning he is in school all year round so we do not know if he will have classes yet on the dates we want.  The weekend after that is Christmas and then New Years.  I have done both holidays at disney world and as beautiful as it is the lines are absolute MISERY.  So fingers crossed the dates workout for us.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

What went Wrong

Today concludes the last of my wedding series.  While I spent the last month writing about how beautifully everything turned out and how perfect it was.   I figured I’d save the final blog to talk about the behind the scenes.

Before I begin, if you’re a bride, here’s some advice:  Nothing ever goes 100% according to plan.  Go into the planning process with an open mind that is ready to adapt to any situation that is not going according to plan.  Have a “No Problem!” attitude because if you don’t, you’re going to experience a lot of unwanted stress.  Besides, your guests arrive and nobody ever knows about the behind the scenes chaos or how something didn’t look the way it was supposed to!

Now during the planning process it’s normal to change your mind, adjust plans according to budget, but then the day of you want everything to go right as it was planned, but it never happens that way. Usually however, the wedding planner deals with it, but like I mentioned before, the wedding planner was my mom.  So we as a group were forced to be flexible, however since we all came into the wedding planning with the no problem attitude we didn’t stress as much as people would expect us to.  We had 5 minor mishaps of things that did not go according to plan:

  1. The Day before the wedding, in all of the preparation madness the Air Conditioning broke! Of course, the unit housing the flowers is the one that broke so as the heat grew stronger, the flowers began to wilt.  In frantic desperation we all turned our attention to relocating the flowers to the side of the house with the working AC to keep more flowers from wilting.  In order to fix the flowers that had already wilted my aunt, the florist, had the genius idea of sticking wires into the stems.  As you can see by the picture, you can’t even tell which ones had wires in them! Luckily, the A/C repair man came and fixed things to prevent any further damage.
  2. Our entire set up was centered around our pool.  We converted it into the dance floor and altar.  Everything looks beautiful right?  Well you see those 2 mini pine trees.  They weren’t supposed to be there.  The day before the wedding the company in charge of covering the pool was supposed to finish the job the day before by arriving at 7am.  Instead of arriving at 7am (the pool was 1/4 done) they arrived at 7PM and worked all through the night until 5AM!!! Of course, my dad didn’t sleep because of the noise, the nerves, and wanting to supervise.  The best part is, at 5am they left, but hadn’t finished! They were supposed to come back at 9am with another crew to finish, but instead they showed up at 4pm just 2 hours before the ceremony was set to begin.  Because they hadn’t answered all day, my dad wasn’t sure if they were going to come and finish off the 4 corners.  So the day of the wedding my dad and my aunt rushed to home depot to pick out these mini pine trees while my Dad’s dad (grandpa) stayed behind to saw the plywood they were going to use to cover the corners.  The pine trees were just a distraction so that nobody would accidentally step on unstable corners.  The reason we didn’t use 2 other pine trees is because the people decided to show up and finish the job 15 minutes before everything started with one guest already arriving!  The pine trees ended up adding a beautiful touch and no one knew that they weren’t originally planned to be there.  Because of this mishap, I unfortunately did not get the first father-daughter look or pictures, but it is, what it is.  He was busy solving problems.

3.

The day before the wedding my long time and faithful make up artist who has a contract with an incredibly large company to show up and work at a moments notice of course got called in to work at the time she was originally supposed to come and do my make up.  Being the professional artist that she is, she told me she would not cancel but come at 9 am instead as she had never and did not plan to cancel on a bride.  Obviously it was not ideal to be in my make up at 9am all the way until the end of the day, but it got done and got solved! The Make up artist in charge of my bridesmaids touched up my my lips and where the make up had rubbed off from the pizza lunch, easy peezy.

Alan Phillip Photography
Alan Phillip Photography

4. If you’ve been keeping up with my wedding blogs, you already saw our STUNNING and DELICIOUS wedding cake.  The baker, who found out she was 6 months pregnant and due only a few days before HER wedding (CRAZY, I know!) had given birth just 2 weeks before.  Also, acting responsibly she did not cancel despite having had a c-section (so obviously she was still healing AND adjusting to a new born..what a beast)  ended up delivering the cake at around 11pm instead of the original 6pm delivery time, which was fine we were all still preparing everything and she had stayed in contact the whole day letting us know the baby was asking for extra attention, which was very professional and of course we understand, plus we knew it was getting done.  Once again, everything came out beautifully even though the process was not how we originally planned.

5.  Being that my wedding was in my mom’s backyard and in Miami (if you didn’t know, Miami is Bipolar when it comes to the rain), even though it was December we were nervous about the rain.  Earlier in the year my mom chose to take the gamble and not put up tents because it”never” rains in Miami in December.  The ENTIRE week leading up to the wedding it rained, the morning of it rained, and it was supposed to rain the entire day, but it didn’t.  We had a little bit of rain JUST after we had finished the ceremony for about 2 minutes, and then the weather went back to normal.

Once again, DO NOT PANIC if something does not go according to plan.  At the end of the day  what matters is that you and your husband to be get married, everything else is just detail.

Are you a bride in need of help to get in shape for your wedding? have no fear! Read below:

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

The Day Of

The day of is absolute mayhem.  At least for me it was.

So many people told me the night before I’d be hit with insomnia, but that definitely was not the case.  I went to bed at 2am, but that was because I was helping with some last minute things.  The second I hit my bed, I knocked out.  While, I did not have insomnia, I did wake up 1 hour before my alarm was supposed to go off.

The other major question I kept getting was “How are you feeling?” The whole week leading up to the wedding. To be honest, I was fine all week. I didn’t feel nervous, anxious, etc.  The day of the wedding, I woke up with knots in my stomach and a pounding a heart.  I woke up seriously feeling I had gotten hit by a truck, but in a good way.

Since I woke up early, I decided to get a head start on ironing my hair.  My HMUA who I have used for a few years now and is absolutely incredible, who has worked with top names, top brands, and has won numerous bridal make up awards, for reasons that will be discussed in the next blog, had to come extra early and was on a time crunch (I’ll discuss in detail on the what went wrong blog on Monday!).  I will be linking her new site soon as it is currently under construction.  Not only does she do make up but she also does hair and she put together my look exactly how I had imagined it.

Alan Phillip Photography
Alan Phillip Photography

SO by 11am my mom and I were done and ready for the big day even though first look didn’t start until 3pm.  But no matter, because the day FLEW!

Every time I took a peak outside (I got ready in my room) there were people running around like chickens with their heads cut off.  It was nuts! When I finally decided I wanted to go outside and look around, my groom walked in, so that plan went out the door.  Before I knew it, it was time to get my ring bearer followed by myself, completely ready.

Alan Phillip Photography
My Handsome Ring Bearer

The whole week I was telling friends I wouldn’t cry.  That I would be fine.  But I lost it when I first saw Xavier, before I walked out, while I was walking out, during the ceremony, during the father daughter dance.  I was a mess, but a happy one at that.

One person I really wanted to glorify is the photographer and his husband.  He came in the middle of the mayhem and remained so calm and professional.  Without realizing it he was making my mom and I a lot more relaxed.  They were so efficient at getting all of the shots done despite being under a major time crunch.  The pictures came out breathtaking.  I lost it again when I saw them, go figure. He got shots of EVERYTHING! every detail, every happy tear, every smile, you name it!  I will definitely be using him in the future (for what, I don’t know yet, I just know that I will again) and I recommend him whole heartedly.  You can tell from the get go how his love for photography and the passion behind his pictures comes out.

Alan Phillip Photography

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To sum everything up, these are the top 3 pieces of advice I would give to any bride the day of your wedding:

  1. Breathe

2. Take things as they come and be flexible

3. Focus on you and your husband to be.  Nothing else matters.

Are you a bride in need of help to get in shape for your wedding? have no fear! Read below:

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Food is EVERYTHING

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am by definition a lacto-ovo-pesco-vegetarian.  I am going on almost 5 years and do not regret my decision at all!  I am a strong believer in doing my part in decreasing animal consumption (I am no vegan, nor do I pretend to be).  How does this relate to our wedding?

I wanted the menu to reflect my diet so we had a menu rich in veggies, salads, pasta, and a few seafood items!  If you know me, you also know my palette is incredibly picky, so when I showed up to the first tasting I was nervous! It turns out, my first tasting ended up being the only tasting as we went with chef lars catering. He managed to make food I do not ordinarily care for, amazing!! There wasn’t one thing he did not cook for us that I didn’t dream of the entire day after the tasting.  From the spinach and carrot soufflés to the papa salad, everything was exquisite.  Not only was his food divine, but his team’s presentation, professionalism, and punctuality matched the food.  Chef Lars himself even came out the night of our wedding with 2 plates for my husband and I that had a little bit everything, which I thought was so thoughtful because If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you’ll know its mayhem for the bride and groom.

As you can also see we chose to do buffet style as I have never been particularly fond of set banquet menus.  Nothing wrong with them, but because I am so picky and like options, I personally wanted my guests to enjoy options as well! I also have been to a few weddings and heard stories from other friends where they leave hungry, and to me that’s a huge no no.  Food can really make or break any party in my opinion.

Moving onto the desserts, my mom really outdid herself.  She homemade 80% of some of my favorite desserts and cookies, 15% of desserts came from our home country Dominican Republic, and the other 5% came from elsewhere.  I have always appreciated home made because you can truly taste the love behind it.  We had one giant dessert table and a few mini dessert stations throughout the house.  All beautifully decorated in Christmas spirit.  The gingerbread houses were also decorated by my mom.

The last of the food and dessert was our wedding cake.  We wanted something that was 100% edible, no cardboard layers, something that was simple, yet elegant, but also delicious.  I am Sugar Cakery delivered a dream.  To this day I get messages from people saying how delicious the cake was and how beautiful it looked.  From the snowflake details to the dulce de leech and nutella layers, everything was perfect.  We are looking forward to the 1 year anniversary piece!

Alan Phillip Photography
Alan Phillip Photography

Are you a bride in need of help to get in shape for your wedding? have no fear! Read below:

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Wedding Details

I am a huge believers in details.  I believe that even the smallest of details make a world of a difference.

Unfortunately, if you’re a bride, chances are your day is flying by so fast, you’re being told to get to a million different places, you’re stuck in a room all day trying to avoid your groom (especially if the wedding is in your mothers house), and when it’s finally time to come out it’s either for the first look or the ceremony and then the night takes you by a storm so details are not really seen until afterwards in the pictures.  I am so grateful our photographer Alan Phillip  captured every little bit of missed details.  We were so nervous because we had forgotten to let him know we really wanted detail shots, but like everything else he did the day, he went above and beyond and got every shot we wanted on his own.  I’ll be telling you all more about him in the next few blogs.

Anyways, on to the details themselves.  Every flower arrangement was designed by my aunt and put together by a team of family members.  All of my moms antiques and decorative plates (from her collection, the families collect, and her friends collection) were all intricately placed and used throughout the house as you can see by the photos below.  Even the candles were placed on her fine candle holders.  The pine trees all had their lights, and even our table chart was elaborately decorated with lights and snowflakes, that later converted to the autograph picture frame for our guests to sign.

As you can see even the smallest of details, made the entire look come together.  Even though, if you’re a bride you may only be able to look at the details in photos, you’re guests that are coming for you should still be able to enjoy a beautiful visual no matter where they look.

Are you a bride in need of help to get in shape for your wedding? have no fear! Read below:

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Dress

By now if you’ve been following my wedding journey blogs you’ll know everything moved rather quickly for us.  In all honesty I knew I had to start looking for my dress, but I thought that was something easy, until I started talking to a few friends who told me that dresses took up to 8 months or more to arrive and then allegations are done in 3 steps.  So I panicked! Immediately I went on google made about 12 appointments at different boutiques just in case I had no luck at other boutiques.  In this blog I also touch up on finding my veil and wedding shoes!

Going into my first appointment at Brides of Florida, I was nervous and anxious.  Everyone I had spoken to told me that when you found your dress you knew, but I really didn’t believe them.  I just knew I went in with a list of what I wanted and a list of what I did not want:

I wanted:

  • Low cut, Open Back
  • Lace
  • Ivory
  • Tight Fitting all the way down
  • Straps
  • Sweetheart neckline
  • Short Veil
  • Budget Friendly Dress

I didn’t want:

  • Sleeves or strapless dress
  • mermaid gown
  • buttons
  • closed back
  • long veil
  • A dress that would not break the bank (honestly, you where the dress once, in my opinion it’s dumb to invest so much money on something you won’t ever wear again.  Plus, al of moms I know that saved their dress for their daughter, not one of them wore their moms dress)
  • A cinderella type ball gown
  • a Belt

My appointment started and I was immediately taken into a room with so many different dresses and asked about what I wanted and my budget, etc.

We started with 8 different dresses, I put the maybes aside and then we moved on to the next 8 that the stylist had picked out at her own will.

I went with my mom, and my Fiance’s mom, and I am so glad I kept it simple and chose people who wouldn’t give too many opinions.  I saw way too many brides go with their entourage and leave upset because of conflicting opinions on the dress the bride loved.  If there’s one tip I can give you, go alone or with someone who won’t ruin your moment with negative opinions.

Anyways, once I got to the next 8, I continued the same cycle of putting in the maybe’s aside and tossing out the no’s.  I got to dress #14, stepped outside onto the platform, and immediately knew it was the one.  It was the only one that took my breathe away and even caused a couple of tears to drop.

The funny thing is, the dress had more of my “did not wants” than my actual “wants,” which is why I would not recommend ordering your wedding dress online.  Go back and look at the bold, it’s everything my dress was.

The next piece of advice I have to offer, is even if you are planning to lose weight for your wedding the way I did (I wanted to lose 20 lbs and I did), order your dress a size up! When I ordered my dress at the heavier weight, even ordering the dress a size up, by the time it arrived i was 10 lbs lighter and the dress BARELY fit! Imagine had I not been able to lose the other 10 lbs?! It’s easier to make a dress smaller than bigger!

Lastly, start your journey early! my dress was supposed to arrive in  months and it arrived in 7 months.  Alterations were supposed to last one month, I had to have the third session because one side of the dress was left bigger than the other (no big deal, they fix it), and it’s not something you want to leave until last minute.  Now, when you reach the alterations realize that making your dress skin tight is unrealistic unless you plan on standing pin straight all night, but also be stern in what you want, because I noticed the seamstresses wanted to do the least amount of work and they would persuade me to not do the much needed alteration.  Stand firm, and be adamant and everything will come out perfectly.

Moving on to the veil,  I ended up choosing a swarovski cathedral veil that I rented simply because buying a veil can be another arm and a leg, and let’s be real, you use the veil once. I tried on veils that matched the dress, shorts veils, etc.  But to be honest the ones that matched the dress, in my opinion it was too much lace.  I loved the swarovski cathedral veil because it was the right amount of accent and it matched the belt that I had fallen in love with.  If you’re going to rent, you just need to be EXTRA careful to not damage it, or you’re basically screwed.

Alan Phillip Photography
Alan Phillip Photography

Your Wedding Shoes: something no one really sees, but make it to the pictures.  I set out looking for Christian Louboutins (those that know me, know I won’t go crazy over clothes, jewelry, or purses just because it doesn’t call to me.  Shoes however, where I save on everything else, I’ll invest into a good pair of shoes.) but when I went to the store looking for a silver Louboutin, none of them were ever in my size.  I’m a 10, even though it doesn’t look like it, so sometimes it’s difficult for me to find designer shoes. As you can see by the shoes in the picture, I fell in love with a Jimmy Choo.  It was probably better that way, if you own a pair of lobs, you know you where them to sit down dinners, but Jimmy Choo has never failed me in comfort, and they prevailed the day of the wedding.  I did end up changing into flip flops but it was after being on my feet for almost 7 hours between pictures, ceremony, post ceremony pictures, etc.  I put on the flip flops for the dancing.  It doesn’t matter your budget for your shoes, I chose to go crazy on the shoes vs the dress because I know the shoes I’ll wear an infinite amount  of times, but you need to start early.  I’ve heard too many horror stories from procrastinators not being able to find a shoe that they loved.  Your wedding day is YOUR day, you need to love every bit of your total look.

 

Are you a bride in need of help to get in shape for your wedding? have no fear! Read below:

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.