….Relax….Release….Let Go! 

“Won’t you come celebrate with me,  that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed…” Lucille Clifton 

So this weekend I had the privilege of attending a beautiful yoga mini-retreat event entitled Starshine & Clay: A place for Women of Color to be led by one of my favorite yoga teachers and mentor Octavia Raheem at her Atlanta-based studio Sacred Chill West... It’s hard to believe that I’ve been sitting under the teachings of my beautiful yoga soulsister since 2013, from studio classes to yoga festivals, and each time its always an amazingly soulful and radiant experience…

With all that has transpired good and bad, positive and negative over the course of my 2017, this was a much needed pre-holiday season detox and refresher experience in preparation for the newness of 2018. I experienced an amazing yin yoga and meditation practice with yoga nidra, and  set my intentions for the holiday season as well as my plans for the upcoming year. I met so many amazing women and enjoyed a delicious fellowship dinner with them after the yoga practice compliments of catering from Atlanta-based vegan chef  Jamila Crawford Pecou of Earth Candy Arts

The pictures below are of the many delicious, vegan culinary creations listed in the menu above…

After a very nourishing night of a mindfully healing practice and delicious soul nourishing vegan cuisine, I can truly say that I am on my way to creating space in my heart and mind for the positive changes and exciting adventures that this holiday season and the start of 2018 have in store for me….

Its time to relax…release…and let go of 2017 and anything negative that may have happened this year, and to begin speaking intentionally to ourselves  and others as humans and as women.

INHALE….

“….I AM”

EXHALE…..

“….worthy

     …..powerful

         …..creative

                ……peace

                       ……truth

                                ……..love 

                                            …..light “

So until next time, continue to speak your truth, creating the kind of life that’s nourishing to your life as well as the lives of others, remembering this one truth, each day telling yourself …that “I AM love”…and that “LOVE is art” and a work of ART is surely what we are, “somewhere on the bridge between Starshine & Clay” (Lucille Clifton). 

So until next time,  just Breathe ….relax…release…and let go!
~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~ and this is CANDICE MARIA’S FIT LIFE ~

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Welcome to the final days of the #31DaysofMindfulness and the Meatless October Challenge….I hope you enjoyed learning from the journey as much as I did! 😊

Mindful Minute

“Not everyone will understand you, but those that matter will, and will cherish what you have to offer…It’s okay to let go.” ~ Candice Maria 

Many times in life, when starting a new journey to better oneself we meet opposition. Keep in mind that a lot of this opposition, especially that which originates from family, friends, or acquaintances is many times just a direct result of their lack of understanding of the purpose and passion behind your choices.

This does not mean in anyway that you are wrong or that they are right, and vice versa. It simply means that you have to do what feels best to you, not everyone will understand at first and in time they either will or will continue not to. However, nevertheless you have to do what feels good to your soul, your mind, and your body, I mean considering we only show up on life’s door with one of each… 😉

So if they don’t understand, hold fast to those who do, and let the rest go for the time being.

Mindful Mobility WOD

For these last few days you will complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and at least 8 Rounds (or as many as your body needs) of the Sun Salutation A sequence as prehab before and/or after or even during your other resistance training or athletic activities today.

Meatless Meals of the Day (MOD)

So this week’s meatless meal of the day is a simple fruit and nut spring mix salad from Publix deli along with a wonderful bottle of GT’s Kombucha (one of my favorite beverages next to plain water). 20171024_122009194780247.jpg

This concludes the blog updates for the #31DaysofMindfulness and Meatless October Yoga Challenge…enjoy these last final days and if you plan to return to consuming meat or meat products after October 31st that is OK, just as continuing to explore your new vegan, vegetarian, or vegetarian variation lifestyle that is also OK. Do what feels right to your mind, body, and spirit….simply treat it and feed it well.

Until next time ~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~ and this is ~ CANDICE MARIA’S FIT LIFE~

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Week 2 wrap-up of 31 Days of Mindfulness and Meatless October….Day 14….

Continue reading

Mindful Minute

Move everyday. Moving heals. Sitting kills.

~ Candice Maria ~

Kind of self- explanatory. You know the old adage, if you “don’t use it, you lose it”? Well daily mindful movement is no exception. The same as skipping out on strength and resistance training causes loss of muscle mass, strength, and a slower metabolism. Not moving at all, or living a sedentary lifestyle causes even more drastic health problems over time. In the book Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Simple Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death — and Exercise Alone Won’t, Dr. Joan Vernikos, a former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division, presents a comprehensive scientific explanation for why Americans are so unhealthy. Numerous medical studies have proven that sitting too much shortens lifespan, even in people who exercise regularly, but what’s the reason? Dr. Vernikos explains in the following video:

 

 

So even if you are not a “gym” person, mindful movement everyday, whether its taking frequent mobility breaks at work, especially if you have a desk job like yours truly (insert side eye #thestruggleisreal); stretching or doing yoga frequently throughout the day, or whatever small movements you can do outside of walking to and from your car at the start and end of your workday, or going to the gym before and/or after work, is beneficial to your general health and well-being.

So during your mindful mobility yoga practice today, think about creative ways to add more movement into your daily routine!

Again, if you are keeping a journal during this journey, you may also want to jot these ideas down for future reference.

Mindful Mobility WOD

Today as you did yesterday, you will complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and at least 1 Round (or as many as your body needs) of the Sun Salutation A sequence as prehab before and/or after or even during your other resistance training or athletic activities today.

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Meatless Meal of the Day (MOD)

 

Today’s featured Meatless MOD is Candied Walnut Quinoa from the Trifecta Nutrition System organic meal delivery Vegan/Vegetarian meal plan

Ingredient List:

  • Quinoa*
  • Onion*
  • Cauliflower*
  • Brussel sprouts*
  • Asparagus*
  • Cranberry*
  • Walnut*
  • Extra virgin olive oil*
  • Balsamic vinegar*
  • Coconut sugar*
  • Grade B maple syrup*
  • Garlic*
  • Parsley*
  • Thyme*
  • Marioram*
  • Coriander*
  • Turmeric*
  • Mustard seed*
  • Cumin*
  • Fenugreek*
  • Paprika*
  • Cayenne*
  • Cardamom*
  • Nutmeg*
  • Cinnamon*
  • Clove*
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Filtered water

*Organic

Nutrition Facts (The Macros):

Serving Size: ~ 160 grams

 



This concludes Day 5 of 31 Days of Mindfulness and Meatless October Challenge…see you on Day 6.

Until next time ~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~

 

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Mindful Minute

Take the keys and drive into your future, don’t sit back and wait for others to give you permission

Today’s mindful minute reflective thought relates to taking charge of what happens to you in life and the choices you make for yourself. Getting and staying fit is a lifelong journey and a choice or decision you have to make, you don’t need anyone else’s permission to do it. So hop into the driver’s seat of your life and make the necessary choices today that will allow you to lead a happy and healthy life tomorrow.

During your mindful mobility yoga practice today, consider the unhealthy habits that you need to change in your life, and make a mental note of how you can change each one. Don’t expect to change everything at once,  but choose one task at a time and address it one day at a time and before long you will be well on your way to making healthy lifestyle choices that will carry you into the years to come.

Again, if you are keeping a journal during this journey, the outcomes of this exercise may be something you also want to jot down for future reference.

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Mindful Mobility WOD

Today as you did yesterday, you will complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and at least 1 Round (or as many as your body needs) of the Sun Salutation A sequence as prehab before and/or after your other resistance training or athletic activities today.

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Meatless Meal of the Day (MOD)

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Today’s featured Meatless MOD is one of my personal Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl Mash-ups (ie.throw it all in a bowl and “mash” it up)

Ingredient List:

  • 20g rolled oats
  • 3 to 4 ounces Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk or filtered water (personal preference)
  • Half scoop (20g) Garden of Life Raw Fit plant-based protein powder
  • ½ or 1 whole banana
  • 1 Tbsp(15g) Greenwise all-natural cashew butter
  • ¼ container (25g) Silk dairy-free, nut-free vanilla yogurt
  • A dash of ground cinnamon

Nutrition Facts (The Macros):

Serving Size: 1 bowl  

Calories: 387

Carbs: 53 grams

Fat: 12 grams

Protein: 21 grams

Sugar: 21 grams

Sodium: 84 mg

 

This concludes Day 3 of 31 Days of Mindfulness and Meatless October Challenge…see you on Day 4.

Until next time ~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~

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Mindful Minute

Pray every day!

As simple as it seems, today’s mindful minute reflective thought is to “Pray every day!” No matter your spiritual or religious beliefs, at the end of the day, in some form there is some type of prayer. Prayer in its most basic definition is “an earnest hope or wish,” and in most spiritual belief and value systems this earnest hope or wish is made as “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” So in your mindful mobility time, as you work through your yoga practice, take time to reflect on that earnest hope or wish, or make that solemn request for help or expression of thanks or gratitude that most commonly burdens your heart and release it through your mindful mobility practice and daily thoughts. Also, it would be a good idea to journal or write down the outcomes of your daily Mindful Minute practice time.

Mindful Mobility WOD

Today you will complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and 1 Round of Sun Salutation A as prehab before or after your other resistance training or athletic activities each day.

Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskar, are traditionally performed in the morning to greet the new day, however you can practice at anytime that’s convenient for your workout schedule each day.

The sequence of 8 postures can be a complete practice in itself, or can prepare you for a longer asana (yoga posture) or fitness routine. Sun Salutes are often performed in sets of 5, but if you are new to the practice it’s wise to begin with 1, 2,or 3 sets or rounds until you get better acquainted with the practice.

Each time you flow through this sequence, synchronize your breath (inhale – upward movements, exhale -downward movements) with the movements of your body.

The following link from Yoga Journal  provides step by step how to perform each pose of Sun Salutation


Meatless Meal of the Day (MOD)

 

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Today’s MOD feature is Trifecta System Nutrition Sweet Potato Chickpea Salad.

Ingredient List:

  • *Garbanzo beans
  • *Onion
  • *Sweet potato
  • *Broccoli
  • *Extra virgin olive oil
  • *Safflower oil
  • *Kalamata olive
  • *Caper
  • *Lemon juice
  • *Dijon mustard
  • *Grade B maple syrup
  • *Garlic
  • *Parsley
  • *Thyme
  • *Cumin
  • *Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Filtered water

*Organic
Nutrition Facts (The Macros):

Serving size: 175 grams

Serving per container: ~ 2

This concludes Day 1 of 31 Days of Mindfulness and Meatless October.
Thanks for participating…see you again for Day 2

~Peace and Love~

~CANDICE MARIA ~

  • *LATE POST*

Ask me no questions, I will tell you no lies about the goals I am chasing on this day….lol! No in all seriousness, I am officially 11 weeks away from my first competition in almost 2 years. After a 2 year break from the stage, I’m back at it again with a new focus, a new coach, and a new team…only God knows what’s in store for me in 2017!

Stay tuned…week by week prep progress videos are next….

Competition Prep Update | 11 Weeks Out | Vlog

10 Weeks Out | Progress Check-in | Vlog

Up next a quick weekly update regarding my second week of competition prep and whatever else is on my mind on a Friday morning at 5am. I am currently 10 weeks away from the stage…feedback from my coach after sending in today’s progress pictures was that everything looks good and on track to be ready for the show in May. Also, it has been decided that we are going to double up on this show and try a crossover category and do figure and bikini….so stay tuned.

9 Weeks Out | Progress Update & Gym Life Rants | Vlog

The following is my 9 weeks out from competition update and progress report! Plus random gym and fit life rants while stuck in traffic accompanied by the charm of Southern living! Enjoy…

8 Weeks Out | Figure Bikini Prep Update Pt.1 & 2 | Vlogs

Sneak peek into my countdown back to the stage….8 weeks out headed to posing practice plus a few progress pics.

and

7 Weeks Out | Figure-Bikini Prep | Vlog

Progress updates…countdown to the stage…7 more weeks! Lucky 7! LOL! Just a general update on where I am and where I feel I am headed with my prep, what I am anticipating after this week and waiting to find out what adjustments will be made with my nutrition among other aspects of the process!

Figure-Bikini Prep Vlog | 3 Weeks Out Update

This is it folks….the final 21 days until showtime have begun! Progress pictures and posing practice every week, plus upcoming nutrition changes..I’ve been MIA for a bit between week 7 and this week  due to work and school demands, so I am praying I can hold it all together by May 1st when the semester ends and I can take a break from the stresses of grad school at least and focus 110% on my prep for the show!

This is also the last weekly update video…the next vlogs in the next blog post will feature the final 24 hours leading up to showtime….Thanks for watching and until next time…

NPC BodyBe1 2017

…I AM CANDICE MARIA

*LATE POST*

Well this is it…I am on my way to the competition prep and posing clinic workshop in Seattle with Physiques Northwest. Excited to see how things go, what I learn about myself and my potential in my sport over the course of the weekend as well as try to catch up with an old friend and take in some of the sights and sounds of beautiful Seattle while I’m in the area!

Hope you enjoy my highlights and thoughts from the weekend! Feel free to leave a comment below:

Pre Seattle Trip Expectations | Vlog

Sightseeing highlights and tour of the city with my long time friend Gary, during my mini vacation trip to Seattle for the Physiques Northwest competition prep workshop…

Sightseeing in Seattle | Vlog

 

This last video features my personal thoughts and outcomes from my trip to Seattle for the Physiques Northwest Competition prep workshop. I received some interesting feedback to take with me for the rest of the 2017 season. No definitive competition plans, but I do know what categories to work towards.

Post Seattle Trip Thoughts | Vlog

Until Next Time….I AM CANDICE MARIA

 

Counting down to my very first official posing clinic and competition prep workshop ever since I  began my figure competitor/fitness model journey in 2013…lol! Looking forward to the trip to Seattle and meeting with the coaching team of Physiques Northwest http://www.physiquesnw.com

Also just my thoughts and reasons on why I took a break from competing and my goals going forward, looking ahead into my future as a physique athlete and aspiring fitness model.

 

 

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for future updates and follow me on my various social media platforms and website blog. Will truly appreciate the support. Until next time….I AM Candice Maria