Friday, April 8, 2016

How to Start Eating Healthy | Part 2 Proteins

This is the second part of my series on How to Start Eating Healthy! I hope you enjoyed Part 1 on Carbohydrates post. This week I want to talk about Proteins, what they are, types, their benefits, what time to eat them, and more. If you want to learn how to start eating healthy, then you need to learn the basics of each macronutrient (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and have a clear understanding on the role they play in our bodies. This will make you knowledgeable and allow you to make wise decision on how to start eating healthy for the rest of your life.

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I will give you the most beneficial tips on a series of blog posts on to get you started today on your path to learning how to start eating healthy.

How to Start Eating Healthy: What are proteins and why they important? 


They are the second most important and essential nutrient our bodies need. Proteins are the building blocks of everything that makes us; we can pretty much say, “We are walking proteins.” Not joking! Our cells, hormones, enzymes, tissues, organs, and entire organism are composed of proteins. Proteins are also the building blocks of DNA, so they play an essential role in our genetic code. You see how important they are?

What the benefits of proteins?

Here is a list of the benefits of proteins:

  • Needed to maintain good health.
  • Proteins are important for structural purposes.
  • 1 gram = 4 Calories/gram
  • They are very versatile! Helps our bodies with growing, repairing or replacing tissue.
  • Proteins are composed of 20 different main amino acids (essential and nonessential amino acids). Therefore, when we eat proteins our digestive system break them down into amino acids, which are absorbed in the bloodstream.
  • Help regulate hormone secretion.
  • Some proteins help regulate insulin in the blood, stabilizing blood sugar.
  • They help maintain an acid-base PH balance of the blood and body fluids.       If blood is too acidic (acidosis) or to basis (alkalosis) it can lead to coma or even death.
  • Help maintain the body’s water balance.
  • Act as transporters by carrying body fluids, nutrients and other molecules in the body.
  • Needed to carry oxygen (via hemoglobin) through our body.
  • If you are trying to build muscle, this is the most fundamental source of food you need to eat to build muscle!
  • Needed for movement (muscle contraction).
  • When we don’t eat enough carbohydrates to provide glucose for energy, our bodies seek proteins to obtain energy. If this happens we will lose lean body tissue, therefore lose muscle. If you are trying to build muscle, you need to eat both pre & post workout (proteins + carbohydrates).
  • Without proteins our muscles won’t grow and recover after workouts. Therefore they are needed for muscle tissue repair!
  • Help with hair and fingernail growth and skincare

What are different types of proteins? 

Proteins are divided in two types, animal proteins and plant proteins.

  • Animal Proteins
    • Proteins from animal sources
    • Foods
      • Lean meats: chicken, turkey, white fish, wild caught fish, salmon, red meats, shrimp.
      • Bone broth, collagen, beef gelatin, gelatin
      • Eggs, low-fat cheese, ricotta cheese, greek yogurt, cottage cheese
      • Whey protein, egg white protein, beef protein.
  • Plant Proteins
    • Proteins from plant sources
    • Foods
      • Legumes, whole grains, soy,
      • Veggies: broccoli, kale, mushrooms, spinach, collard greens, corn, mustard greens, parsley, edamame, peas, asparagus, soybeans (although I’d limit on the use of soy).
      • Spirulina, moringa, maca powder
      • Seeds (seed butters), sunflower, pumpkin, chia, hemp, flax, sesame, hemp powder/seeds.
      • Nuts (nut butters), almonds, Brazilian nuts, peanuts, cashews
      • Protein powders: pea protein, plant based protein, brown rice protein, soy protein.

There are 2 types of proteins, animal and plant based! #eatinghealthy #proteins
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What are amino acids? 

Proteins are composed of 20 different main amino acids (essential and nonessential amino acids). Therefore, when we eat proteins our digestive system break them down into amino acids, which are absorbed in the bloodstream.

There are twenty amino acids commonly found in animal-based proteins and eight of these are considered to be essential since the body cannot produce them on its own. These essential amino acids must be obtained through the diet or supplementation. The other twelve amino acids are nonessential and conditionally nonessential and these are capable of being produced by the body.  They can also be supplemented with food and supplements.  When you are under stress or sick, your body is not able to make some nonessential amino acids, therefore these are classified as conditionally nonessential.

  • Essential Amino Acids
    • Meaning: the body cannot produce these amino acids on its own.
    • Valine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine and tryptophan and histidine. Histidine is only essential for infants/babies, not adults.
  • Nonessential Amino Acids
    • Conditionally Nonessential Amino Acids
      • Meaning: when you are under significant stress, sick or going through a rough time, your body may not be able to produce enough of these amino acids to meet your needs, therefore you might want to supplement with diet.
      • Arginine, glutamine, tyrosine, cysteine, glycine, proline, serine and ornithine
    • Nonessential Amino Acids
      • Meaning: the body can make these amino acids on its own.
      • Alanine, asparagine and aspartate — are nonessential.

Will Proteins make me gain weight?

If you are trying to lose weight, a diet high in protein will benefit you.  Eating protein helps you control hunger too.  You want to select lean protein sources as I listed above into your diet.  Avoid meat cuts that are high in fat as calories still matter.  Choose meat cuts that end in “loin” for red meats, chicken breast, turkey breast, eggs, legumes, nuts (see list above)

A diet high in protein can help you lose weight. #eatinghealthy #proteins
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What time should I consume proteins?

You want to consume protein in each of your meals and eat 5-6 meals, every 2.5-3.5 hours. You can do a Protein Shake click link for recipes.  You want to eat protein in all your meals, but especially around your workouts. For example you need to eat carbohydrates + protein as a preworkout and post-workout, this will allow the carbs to be digested and processed as a fuel, while using a higher percentage of protein for repair and growth.

If you are starving toward the end of the evening or night, then choose a snack with protein. Stay away from carbohydrates at night if you are trying to lose weight. Do snacks like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nut butters or a protein shake with some almonds.

How much protein to take to build muscle?

It honestly varies on how much protein is required depending on your body time and level of physical activity. Follow this formula to calculate how much protein to eat depending on your activity level or Access Protein Calculator here.

Body Weight (lbs) x Protein Amount Factor

Choose one of the following protein amount factors to plug into the formula.

  • .5 – no sports or training
  • .6 – jogger or light fitness training
  • .7 – moderate training, 3x per week
  • .8 – moderate daily weight training or aerobics
  • .9 – heavy weight training
  • 1.0 – heavy weight training daily
  • 1.5 – heavy weight training daily, plus cardio 3x per week

(Protein factor information taken from article from

I stick to 1g of body weight for my protein amount and it has worked pretty good. If I’m bulking, I increase to 1.5g per 1 lb of body weight.  So, right now I’m 130 lbs x 1 g Protein = 130 grams/daily. It I want to lean out more, then I will change the protein amount factor.

Let me know if you have any comments, questions on this topic! I’d love to hear your feedback.

  • How much protein do you take?
  • What’s your favorite protein supplement?

Check out these links to help you get started on a healthy lifestyle!

Thank You,

Mary Miranda

The post How to Start Eating Healthy | Part 2 Proteins appeared first on Mary Miranda Fit.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Make Fitness Resolutions That Work

Another year has come and you still haven’t set your fitness resolutions as you had planned.  You are still day dreaming, wishing and wanting to lose weight, tone up and be healthier.  You look in the mirror and say, “I wish I was 20 lbs lighter,” “I wish I was thinner,” “I wish I fit into those jeans,” or “I can’t believe I let myself gain this much weight.”  Trust me, you are NOT ALONE!  Most people don’t know how to make fitness resolutions that work and stick.

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I remember vividly before I turned 19, I kept saying “I want six-pack abs by the time I turn 19.” Guess what happened?  I let 10 years go by when I finally did something about it.  I never did anything about it.  That’s it!!! I NEVER took ACTION!  This is the secret to setting fitness resolutions that work.

“You Don’t Need Motivation to Start, You Simply Need to Start. #Motivation will come later.” Mary…
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How to Make Fitness Resolutions That Work

When setting your resolutions and goals, I use the SMART goal setting principle, which is an acronym that stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.



Ask yourself, “Why do I want to be healthy?”  “What’s my main reason I want to set my Fitness Resolutions?”

If you don’t have a concrete reason why you want to be healthy or fit, then you will be all over the place with your goals.  You need to have a motive in order to know what action to take.  You can’t trace a plan if you don’t know the reason why you are making it.  For example, you want to lose weight, but what is the reason behind this?  Simply because you want to be thinner, or you have a cardiovascular disease that requires your to lose weight?  Two different reasons and two different approaches.  If you have a cardiovascular disease, you are most likely taking medications, which will require your Doctor’s approval to start exercising and eating healthy.  Your workouts and dietary needs, will be slightly different.  Whereas if you simply want to lose weight because you want to be thin, but have no cardiovascular diseases, then your approach will be different.  All you need to do is find your Why!

Read my blog post to find my “Why” to get six-pack abs  7 TIPS TO SIX-PACK ABS



You need to close your eyes and visually imagine, feel, and act as if you already have what you are seeking.  Yes, this is key in your success to your fitness resolutions.

Ask yourself the following questions: How will you Feel when you have achieved that goal? What will you do? How will you act? How will your life change? How will you dress? What places will you go? How will your mindset change? How will you live your life daily? How will your family feel around you with the New You?

I never knew how strong the power of visualization and Law of Attraction were, until I began to use them.  That feeling you get in your chest when you visualize “how you will feel when you achieve your goal?” is beyond anything.  What are you waiting for? Start visualizing to set your fitness resolutions!

You can to learn How to Make A Vision Board to help you visualize.



When you use a journal, you will be able to measure and track your progress and goals in one place. Seeing your initial statistics and comparing your progress within 4-weeks or 8-weeks, will get you motivated to keep pushing and working toward your fitness resolutions.  People that track their progress are more successful in achieving goals, than those that don’t have a way to measure their success.  You will get a set of accomplishment and will feel more confident when you see your hard work paying off.



Is simply not realistic and attainable to set a goal to lose 40 pounds in 1 month.  You will be stressed out and will end up quitting your fitness resolutions, because you are not seeing the progress you wanted.  Yes, you can set a goal to lose 40 pounds, but spread out your deadlines to dates that are attainable.  For example in order to lose 1 lb, you need to burn 3500 calories.  So, to lose 1 lb a week, you need to burn 500 calories each day or decrease your calorie intake by 500 calories each day.   If the goal is lose 2 lbs per week, then you need to burn off 1000 calories each day.  Now, is this possible?  Yes, but you might be worn out trying to cram your cardio sessions to achieve this.  I recommend sticking to 1 lb per week, as I promote losing weight the healthy way.



When you are consistent with the time that you workout, you will be more likely to stick to this routine as you will make it a habit.  It takes 21 days to develop and stick to a new habit.

For me, I workout 6 days a week at 6 a.m.  I have made this a daily consistent habit that is now a lifestyle.  I am a morning person and I like starting my days early.  Somehow, I feel off balance if I don’t start my days exercising.  Another great tip is that I get ‘exercising’ out of the way and I am ready to focus on my daily to-do list.  You need to look for a time that works for you and you will be consistent.

Huge Tip! If you work a 9-5, bring your gym bag with you.  Drive straight to gym after work and just get your workout done.  I cannot tell you how many times I told myself, “I’ll go home, change and go to gym after work.”  Yes, even me!  That obviously didn’t happen, therefore I had to look for a time that really worked for me, that’s why I workout early.



Many people want a healthy body, but you also need to be aware that your mind is what controls you.  You need to make this part of your Fitness Resolutions.  I highly believe getting healthy and fit is more of a “mental” job, than a physical job. Why? Because you have to be disciplined, consistent, and fight that negative voice inside of you, each time that you feel like giving up.  I also work on my self-esteem and confidence daily, I call this “My 1 hour of inner self-work.”  I have this scheduled daily to help me become my best Fit version each day.

“Be Your Best FIT Version Each Day.” Mary Miranda #fitnessresolution #fit
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What difference will it make if you achieve the body of your dreams, but you still have no confidence, low self-esteem and don’t feel you are good enough?  You need to tackle this and make this a priority of your goals.  Read self-help books, journal, analize your thoughts/feelings, and learn to love yourself.  I worked this simultaneously when I started my journey.  My life changed for the better when I integrated this to my resolutions.

  1. Which of the 6 tips is your favorite?  Mine is #2 Visualization!
  2. Are you ready to start your Fitness Resolutions?
  3. What didn’t you like about this blog post?


Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know your thought and how I can help you!


six-pack abs progress Mary Miranda Fit dec 2


I hope you are eager and motivated to finally start doing something for yourself, to get fit and healthier!  Remember, we all start somewhere and this is a perfect time for you to begin.


Mary Miranda Fit

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