Sunday Summary: One More Post

Hello everybody… wow, I just realized that it’s been over six months since I have written anything on this blog so I guess this means I am moving on to other projects. But, before I go I wanted to really close this chapter and share a little of where I’ve been and where I’m going. I will not deactivate the blog so the recipes, ideas, tips, stories that I have shared will continue to be here. All of it, warts and all.

OK… so, weight-wise. I have gone up. My last post was about continuing with adding green smoothies to my routine. That lasted until the cold weather settled in (sort of) and since then I went off the rails pretty badly. My depression flared and that didn’t help either and I ballooned to 197 lbs. I am, as of today, at 185 lbs. about 25 lbs over this year’s lowest but still 40 lbs. under my all-time high and I am happy about that.

Mid-december I had a major depressive episode and I realized that it had been building up for a while (since around June): I had lost interest in a lot of things, missing a lot of gym classes, and overeating sweets (mostly oreos). I finally exploded in tears and anger and had to get back on my meds, make an extra effort to drag myself to the gym and took on the Scarsdale Diet (with modifications) which is a simple and pretty easy diet to follow. After a week I was down to 186 lbs. and I’ve been using it as inspiration to plan my meals from then on. It’s been working. I am currently much calmer, little tears, and better at controlling my bouts of anger but there’s a lot of work to do still ahead.

Today I was reviewing my list of 2015 New Year’s Resolutions and I see that  I only fully completed 3/10:

#3 Start a Race Bib Collection: I did that… I ran/walked one 5K every month this year and now I am the proud owner of 12 race bibs. Not bad.

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#5 Pay off credit card: I am so happy to announce that I am credit card debt free. WOO HOO!

#7 Visit friends: In April, I had to take a trip to Washington DC (I’m in SC) for some errands and stayed a few days to visit with two of my graduate school friends. I had an amazing time and will cherish those memories for a very long time.

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So… all in all… not bad. Now, I hope to receive 2016 in a better mood.

2016 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Begin a New Chapter: I’ll be moving to a different country next month. Keep up with my adventures on Instagram.
  2. No longer obese: Another year is another opportunity to stick to good eating habits and exercise routine. This year I learned that I have to keep my depression on check.
  3. Keep running: I’ll continue signing up for 5K’s and running in general. The goal for 2016 is to keep track of all my runs and reach 150 miles by the end of the year (that’s 3 miles a week; it’s doable).
  4. Read 50 books: Here I go again. I only read 17 books in 2015 and 20 in 2014. Obviously I went the wrong direction. 😆
  5. Save Money: Last year’s money goal was to pay off the credit cards and I did so this year I’ve decided to go with the 52-week saving challenge. Wish me luck!
  6. Volunteer: I wanted to join a group in 2015 and failed at that. I participated in little volunteer projects but not to the level of commitment I really want so I’ll try harder in 2016.
  7. Visit Venezuela: It’s been nearly five years since I have seen my family in Venezuela. It’s time to correct that.
  8. Write a Novel with #NaNoWriMo: Another one from 2015 – I have a story stuck in my head; hopefully I can let it out in 2016.
  9. Keep a Food Diary: I used to be pretty good at writing down what I ate. I don’t add a lot of detail so it’s not that hard but this is one of the things that I stopped doing around mid-year and that I know really helps me with weight loss.
  10. Conquer one item from my Confidence Bucket ListAnother goal from 2015 that went unfulfilled.

OK… there they are. 2016… I believe I am ready.

Sunday Summary: The Green Smoothies continue…

Hello peeps! Short and sweet this week.

So I finished the 10-day Green Smoothie Cleanse last wednesday and dropped 10 lbs. in 10 days. Pretty sweet. I am following it up with 1-2 smoothies a day and low carb meals, and I am allowing myself three cheats per week.

Yesterday I went to the movies to watch Tomorrowland (fantastic by the way) and had a small popcorn and a diet coke (cheat #1). Today I had breakfast at my favorite breakfast joint (Le Peep) and had pancakes (cheat #2). YUM! But my other meals have been green smoothies and salads.

Today’s Awesome Smoothie was very yummy and included

  • 1 1/2 cups Spinach
  • 2/3 cup purified water
  • 1 orange
  • 2/3 cup mango
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseeds

I can’t recommend this book enough. I love that JJ Smith keeps it real and I’ve discovered a world of smoothie options that I didn’t know existed. I already made two converts. 😀 This is the perfect time of the year (in the northern hemisphere) to do this. If you’ve been looking for a plan to jumpstart your weightloss journey or get back on it, I sincerely recommend you give this a shot.

Weekly Words of Wisdom



Sunday Summary: Day 7

Hello peeps!

I hope you’ve been having a fantastic week. I’ve been busy… but I can’t tell you why. Hopefully I’ll be on a sharing mood soon. :mrgreen:

Today I just wanted to let you know (and keep it on the record) that I’ve made it to Day 7 of JJ Smith’s 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. WOOHOO!

10dayI got to be honest. It’s been a little trying but only a little. I am actually pretty happy with how well I have been doing. For those of you not familiar with this program, it’s a 10-day plan in which every day you have the same smoothie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (there are 10 different smoothies). The smoothies are mainly made of 2-3 cups of dark leafy greens (spinach, spring mix, kale), and fruit. In the morning you start with a cup of detox tea (I use Yogi) and lots of water (or herbal tea) throughout the day. You are also allowed to eat crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots; and nuts and peanuts as long as they are raw and natural; and hard-boiled eggs (random?). I’ve calculated my daily calorie intake at around 1200 (the smoothies take about half of that). It also says that you should have up to three bowel movements a day and to help yourself with Salt Water Flush or MagO7, but I’m not doing this, I’m letting nature do it’s thing.

So, Day 7… I’m down 7.6 lbs. which is great but I had gained about 15 lbs. since my lowest point and although I am super happy I am aware that there is much work yet to be done. But I’m liking this. I can see continuing with 1-2 smoothies a day and yummy salads with protein.

I am usually very skeptical about these programs but this one is pretty doable; mostly, because you do get to eat something in between. I admit that I don’t follow it completely and have “cheated” with avocado and oranges which are not on the list but I don’t think they’ve done much harm. JJ Smith also manages a super encouraging Facebook group that I recommend you check out if you are wondering how other people do on this.

That’s it for now…
Weekly Words of Wisdom


good advice 😉
and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday Summary: Mother’s Day

File May 10, 5 53 50 PMHello peeps!

Check out my mom and me (circa “let’s not go there”). Aren’t we cute! 😀 She is the boss of my life and since I have no kids of my own and no siblings to share her with… well… let’s just say that our relationship never gets boring.

On that note, Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing women out there who put their needs on hold to meet the ones of others. Mothers are great at that and I know a few that while not being moms they sure are mothers so happy day to you too.

My mom got an iPhone that is proving to be great for her but not so great for me. 😆 I also took her to her favorite breakfast spot, Le Peep, which here in the south serves the best (according to her) grits ever! Alas, this was not enough and she’s also made me promise to try JJ Smith’s 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. We start tomorrow. Wish me luck!

File May 10, 5 54 12 PMOn other news, I ran/walked my fifth 5K of the year (one of my resolutions is to run one 5K every month). For the first time I had to walk some of it because I did not train at all this past month so I definitely need to start training again if I want to do better next month. I’m still pretty proud of myself for completing it and sticking to the plan.

Weekly Words of Wisdom
(courtesy of my Julep box)

File May 10, 5 54 01 PM

As always, thanks for visiting.
And have a fantastic week.

Hello May

IMG_4501Happy May Day peeps, and welcome to my birthday month. 😀

There are a lot of birthdays in my family this month, including my own (on the 30th) so May has always been a little extra special. The nice weather also helps.

In any case, summer is right around the corner so lots of pool (and maybe beach) time is coming near and I can’t wait to get into my bathing suits. Here are some other events I’m looking forward to this month…

May the fun begin:

5demayoCinco de Mayo is an important date in my household but not because of Mexico’s Batalla de Puebla but because it’s my mom’s birthday. We don’t really do big celebrations but this year I am planning to learn to make Drunken Noodles, her latest favorite dish.

15GITPGet in the Pink! I’ll be earning my fifth race bib of the year on Saturday May 9th. Although I am not looking forward to the early start, I am happy to participate in a local event that also supports a local charity that raises money and resources to assist and support breast cancer patients from diagnosis to remission.

safe_imageI am not doing too well on my current Dietbet and therefore I have given few updates but I have a plan for this month so rain or shine I’ll be posting an honest update on May 21 or 22. I don’t know where I am going to be. I hope it’s a better place than where I am now but we’ll have to put in the work and then see. Wish me luck!

And then there’s May 30th… my birthday 😀

“Y” and “Z” the end of #atozchallenge

Hello peeps! We’ve reached Ye Zenith (see what I did there?) 😀


Ye Zenith
“Ye” is really really old English for “the”

And here we are at the end of the A to Z Challenge. If I had to give myself a grade I’d give myself a solid B. I actually deserve a C for how many times I dropped the ball but I’m giving myself extra points for creatively getting back on schedule. That counts too right?

So what does it mean to reach Ye Zenith? Ye zenith is a high point. We tend to predict our zeniths in life as our wedding day, a promotion, the birth of a child, graduation, reaching a particular goal, etc. But sometimes in focusing too much on the future we miss the everyday things that makes life worth living so I ask that you try to identify your every day zeniths. What was the high point of today?

For me, I reached a zenith today at lunch when I made this great lentil soup (sans celery and grains of paradise) that was just marvelous. I am not a lentil person so whenever I make food with an ingredient that is not my favorite and yet I love the taste, I  celebrate that. How will I celebrate? I’m heading to the gym for a 45-minutes spinning class. Maybe I’ll reach another zenith there.

Looking forward to A to Z 2016
Goodbye April

Top 5 posts during A to Z Challenge (thanks for the love peeps):

“X” is for Xingu

DO NOT google "xingu" and forgive me for going off-topic.

XHello peeps, and welcome to the fourth installment of What I Read Tuesday (WIRT) where I write about my latest read as I work my way through 2015 Around the World Reading Challenge, the PopSugar Reading Challenge, and complete my personal Goodreads Reading Challenge of reading 50 books this year (I am so behind).  You can imagine how worried I was when I realized that my monthly WIRT would fall under the letter “X” and you can now imagine how happy I felt when I found “Xingu” by Edith Wharton. What a great short story (it should take less than 90 minutes to read) and it is available free through Project Gutenberg. Click here for Xingu.


Meet the ladies of the Lunch Club, a book club composed of several (apparently) high-society ladies in Hillbridge, a small town. The aim of the club, as described by one of them, is to “concentrate the highest tendencies of Hillbridge – to centralise and focus its intellectual effort.” They “aspire to be in touch with whatever is highest in art, literature, and ethics.” Sounds good, right? The problem is that most of them don’t really seem to know whatever all that means.

This is a really funny story about the Queen Bee(s) of the time. Edith Wharton (1862 – 1937), a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and designer was known for her humorous insider’s criticism of America’s privileged classes. Xingu is no exception and in under 50 pages gives us social and psychological insight into the snobs of the time (some which are very much relevant today).

It’s easy to give the punchline away so I will only ask that you read it yourself. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this short story. For book club members it is a must. I’m sure you know (or are) one of the ladies in this group.

Favorite Passage

download (1)


“W” is for Weekly Words of Wisdom

Hello peeps! We’re back on schedule. YAY!

When I started this blog I intended to post regularly but quickly learned that life would get in the way so I decided that I would at least make an effort to write a digest post every week and so was Sunday Summary born, a weekly post that most times serves as a weekly digest and sometimes allows me to highlight something important that happened or that I learned during that week.

Whichever the case I like to end the week on a high note and always share a quote, book passage, or some motivational words that I hope you’ll like and that usually become my mantra for the following week.

Since the start of this blog (March 2014), I’ve written 52 Sunday Summaries and therefore shared 52 weekly words of wisdom. I can’t really share them all but here’s a sample.


Happy Motivation Monday. 🙂

Sunday Summary: Catching Up

Hello peeps! Long time, no see.

You know, sometimes you fall off the wagon and other times, upon falling, you decide to take a nap and miss the next wagon that comes along. THAT’S EXACTLY HOW THIS WEEK WENT FOR ME.

I haven’t tracked my food all week, I barely exercised at all, and I completely dropped the ball on the A to Z Challenge.

However, I am not giving up. I am too close to the end. Here’s me playing catch up:

IMG_4468“S” is for Social Media which I love a little too much. In terms of my journey SM has been of great help (post here). I share pictures and progress reports with friends and family who in turn encourage me to continue and keep me accountable. You can find me posting regularly on Facebook and Instagram, and from time to time on Twitter. Go ahead, stalk me (no creeps please). Is there some other place I need to be on?

IMG_4469“T” is for Television which I watch way too much of. Thanks to the magic of time shifting I can binge watch my favorite shows when I have time. My current five unmissable TV shows are HBO’s VICE to stay up to date and Game of Thrones (no explanation needed), BBC One’s Call the Midwife (the good old times sucked! but these women are awesome), Canal+ Borgia (so juicy), and BBC America’s Orphan Black (best sci-fi ever).  Any TV soulmates out there? 

IMG_4470“U” is for Unprepared which is what I was this week for what took over my life. I’m not really ready to share what I am working on but I do recognize that I need to work on my scheduling if I want to keep this blogging thing going. Also, I realize that this blog really does ground me so I promise to do better moving forward. Any recommendations on how to get better organized when there’s too much coming at once?

IMG_4471“V” is for Virtual – one of the reasons I do love doing this challenge is for the blogs I discover. Here are my favorite virtual places to visit:

– Katie Paul at Head Heart Health Best find ever! Katie, I love the way you write and your take on life. I want to be you when I grow up.

– The beautiful lady at Chocolate Makes it Better –  She writes about depression and other issues I share too and makes it better with chocolate. Love at first bite. Although, like me she fell off the wagon regarding the challenge, I do invite you to visit her blog.

– Parul (?) at Happiness and Food writes about… well, happiness and food but took the A to Z Challenge to focus on women issues and has done a fantastic job. I am behind on my reading but I know you will love it and best of all learn something new.

– Another beautiful lady, this time at Failed Experiments & Experimental Failings is another great lifestyle blog with a lot of sass. Just how I like them.

– Eva (?) at Eva Marasca self-identifies as an introvert just like I recently discovered that I have become myself (post here). Her musings are at times funny and others serious but always insightful.

I hope you take the time to visit them (or have already if you’re on the challenge). You won’t regret it. Thank you ladies for inspiring me.


OK peeps! It's time to finish strong. Four days left, four letters left. Normally I would share Weekly Words of Wisdom along with my Sunday Summary but I'll be doing that tomorrow so come back for "W" is for Weekly Words of Wisdom. Best way to start the week. XOXO

“R” is for Restaurants

RI don’t know you peeps but in my experience there is just no way to lose weight if I constantly eat out. There is just no way. And I love eating out and therefore I have had to learn to make smart decisions when I eat out and plan ahead in order to not terribly disturb my weight loss journey.

So… let’s talk about restaurants. I love them 😆 and what’s not to love: yummy food, no prep, no cooking, no clean-up. It’s awesome. The main problem with eating out is that we have very little control on how it is prepared and therefore a simple meal of 600 calories at home may easily turn into a 2000-calorie monstrosity at your favorite food joint. What’s a girl (or guy) on a diet to do?

Toni’s Restaurant Tips

TIP #1 Check the menu before you go – Most restaurants share their meals’ nutritional value on their website. Check it before you head out so you have a better idea what are your best choices. There are also apps that can help you make smarter choices at the dinner table. I usually check my copy of Eat This, Not That! or the website. In any case, the trick is to be prepared before you set foot in the restaurant.

TIP #2 Plan out your week – I usually know how many times I’ll be eating out during the week so if it’s only one day I may allow myself to splurge and have a “cheat-meal” with no regrets but if I know that I will be eating out three or more days the next week then I make sure that I choose healthier options with plenty of greens and sauces and/or dressings on the side.

TIP #3 Check your alcohol and/or skip dessert – The biggest change I made to my lifestyle was limiting my alcohol consumption. I barely have any anymore unless I’m out with friends and preferably if I know I will be dancing and therefore burning it off. I also rarely have dessert and if I do I try to share it.

Do you plan your eating out adventures? Got any tips?