It Really Does Happen In the Kitchen

Since the start of my weight loss journey I delved deep into walking as part of my efforts to get my weight down from 224 pounds to 160 pounds. Initially, I walked, but I did not have a handle on portion control at meal times.

While I committed myself to a healthy walking regimen, I soon learned that all the working out in the world would not help you lose weight if you did not get how much you ate under control. I had to learn even though I was eating healthy, I still had to control how much food I put on my plate and actually consumed.

As that ah ha moment occurred, I began making changes to the amount of food I served myself. I quickly found the old saying “Bad habits die hard” to be true. I also found, you absolutely can achieve this goal if you really want to by simply, just doing it! I did!

Once I got portion control, under control, I further learned that losing weight really “Does Happen In the Kitchen”.

You can walk a thousand miles every week, but if you never control what and how much you eat, then it will be as I always say, as milking the cow and kicking the bucket over.

I’m no nutritionist, but I can advise from my experience, to focus on whole foods, more fruit and vegetables, and if you can, get those animal products from your diet. You really do not need them for protein. Since protein comes from plants and appear in everything you eat, you can totally do without them.

Since I am a witness of weight loss happening in the kitchen, I can encourage you to get in their, learn how, and make it happen for you as well!


#weightloss #healthyeating #cleaneating #plantbaseddiet #wholefoods #80/20rule #walking #diet #exercise #vegetarian #plantbasedlifestyle




Water Moves

Making unhealthy bad food choices and not getting in the proper mix of vitamins and minerals can lead to feelings of bloated-ness and eventually to constipation. To get rid of the problem, some physicians may suggest that you ingest stool softeners or other medications that are known to loosen bowels and cause a steady flow of elimination.

While I am not in the business of discrediting physicians, I am in the business of finding healthier, more natural alternatives to bring healing to the body. With that in mind, I have noticed that in lieu of using medications to ignite a healthy elimination of stool, a simple warm glass of water typically helps move things along and gets the job done!

Every morning, I start my day off with at least 16 ounces of warm water. While I did not begin my water regimen in hopes of eliminating waste, but to jump start my daily hydration intake, I noticed shortly after consuming the warm water, it resulted in a healthy elimination of waste. Too much information? I know! But on my journey of being fitandfree, I endeavor to keep you informed  of healthy alternatives and tips that work.

As always, since I am in no way a nutritionist or doctor, and by far am not instructing you to discontinue any medications prescribed by your physician,  always consult your physician before making any changes to your regimen, I am suggesting trying natural remedies that really do work. And warm water to help move waste through your intestines is one that works!

Don’t take my word for it. Go ahead and give it a try! When the good Lord awakens you in the morning, start your day right by having a warm glass of water. Water really does Move things along.

This blog is probably too much information to take in for today. But if we’re going to be as transparent as can be on this journey, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly is key.


#water #hydration #elimination  #waste #healthydigestion #flowingfreely #naturalalternatives #healthy #h20

When Change Occurs

On any given day, you will find me engaging in kick-backs, side steps, knee lifts, walking side-to-side and getting in a mile, or two, or three with my walking coach Leslie Sansone. My regimen typically consists of  a healthy 3-4 workouts. Sometimes 5 workouts per week, walking with Leslie, or by the beautiful Lake Michigan. However, if you’ve read my latest posts, then you are aware of the shift in my workouts from ‘structured,” to “unstructured.”

Over the past two months, there has been a significant CHANGE in my overall regimen. It has gone from me getting it in consistently and intensely, to almost completely sedentary. Which is a no-no when it comes to how energetic I feel throughout my day.

Initially, I could not understand why I was going from feeling agile, strong and healthy, to feelings of aching joints and muscles slowly slipping into atrophy. My mind was telling me to “get that workout in.” But based on the incidents that continued to occur, my body was clearly saying “you need to rest.”

With all the sudden breaks in my fitness regimen, I turned my attention and analysis to the only obvious question that would yield clarity to my ambiguity. That question is “why is my regimen CHANGING?

I began examining why the sudden change in my body and stamina were occurring, when in the recent past, I felt so vibrant, agile, flexible and strong. The realization I ascertained was an eye-opening life lesson that will forever be stored in my psyche’s wall of wisdom.

I have been on a weight loss journey, and now, a lifestyle change for the past 5 years. When I commenced my journey, I weighed 224 pounds, was grossly out of shape and had MUCH to lose. Hard work and intensity were my plight if I were ever going to achieve my weight loss goal of 160 pounds and good health. Having that mindset, I prepared myself mentally for the road that lay ahead, dug right in and begun the path on the journey that would lead me to good health and wellness. I began walking and working out. My workouts were often and greatly Intense. I walked a lot. And I walked often! I put A LOT of HARD work into getting my weight under control. As again, I had much to lose. I am incredibly proud of my efforts.  As I was able to get down from 224 pounds to 169 pounds. Sounds impressive?! Yes! But it was not easy. It took time, hard work and dedication. But I did it! I was not only successful with losing weight, but also achieving good health. After so long, I went to my doctor, had my blood work done and all of the results of every test, were well within normal ranges. You can only imagine how happy and proud I was to see that my hard work and diligence paid off. This is just an excerpt of my story. You can refer to my first blog post to read my whole story on how I got in that state, and how I achieved a doable weight and more importantly good health. I am living up to my motto living “physically fit and holistically free!

Now that you know a little history on my journey, you will understand my contemplation and analysis on CHANGE as referenced in this blog post.

When I first begun my weight loss journey, I had much to lose and so I HAD to put in a lot of HARD work. Even after I was successful in my efforts, I continued on that same path. Putting in a lot of HARD work and intensity. Due to injuries that were naturally happening to me for no apparent reason, I was forced to take a look at the CHANGE that WAS OCCURRING in my regimen.  I learned I no longer needed to work out as intensely as I did when I started my weight loss journey. Before, I had to work out at that pace and intensity because I had much to lose.  Now, since I have been successful in getting my weight down and in good health, I only need to exercise to maintain the results I have achieved.  I learned that I still need “Diligence” to maintain. But I could fall back a bit on the “Intensity.” Right now, I need to walk to maintain my healthy heart and engage in enough activity that would maintain my weight. Even if it is only for 30 minutes a day. Sometimes, when we are not focused and in tune to the simple life’s lessons we are to learn, God has a way of intervening to ensure we get it. I’d better pay closer attention. 🙂

I thank God for being concerned about me, providing wisdom and teaching me balance on how to stay in shape and good health. I couldn’t see that I needed to change my regimen, reduce the intensity and get in a more maintenance work out mode versus putting so much unnecessary stress on my body that it no longer required. Since I did not see that I needed to fall back, and redirect my efforts, He allowed nature to happen so that I could take a step back and see the Change I needed to implement on my own, that He allowed to occur naturally. I thank God for giving me wisdom. Too much of a good thing, can be bad for you. Even exercising out of place.

Change is necessary!

WHEN CHANGE OCCURS, take a step back, assess why it is happening and welcome it. It is only working for your benefit. I am grateful that I am gaining a lot of wisdom,  on health and wellness. But I am even more ecstatic, that I am being committed to maintaining a life of being “fitandfree!”20170430_152758



You could not begin to imagine the setbacks I have experienced lately with moving forward consistently with my fitness regimen. It has been one thing after another, after another, which have made me settle down and take another look at what is going on, why and if I need to redirect my efforts or slow them down a bit. I definitely need to do an assessment to ensure I am not missing the message. Because lately, it sees that my fitness progression is going “Backwards“.

A week or so ago, I loaded my truck with several laundry bags to take to the laundromat to clean our clothes. Little did I know, doing so put strain on my lower back and put me out of commission. Oh my goodness did my back hurt! Not being cognizant of the lower back strain, that following Monday, I got in my regularly scheduled workout. I pushed out 100 squats, and 2 Burn Body Fat miles using 3 pound hand weights. The next day, I could barely move. The intensity of the pain in my back was quite surreal. As I stated, I could barely move, and lifting anything was totally out of the question. Needless to say, that set me Back! Since then, the obvious has occurred…NO WORKING OUT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE! Quite a bummer!

While on my necessary hiatus, I began to think things over. I wondered, why am I experiencing these things that are causing me setbacks. I also wondered since I have gotten myself to a healthy state of being, am I over doing it? Do I need to reconsider the intensity of what I am doing? Do I need to taper it a bit and scale back even? All sorts of questions begin running through my mind. I have not arrived at any conclusion to date, but what I will say is, I will continue to take it easy until I have things ironed out. My back was getting better, but then yesterday, I was bending to take off my socks, ,when something in my back popped, and it felt as if fire shot up the left side of my back and yes, I was back to square one. Really?! I think it is safe to say that a trip to the doctor to see what is really going on is in order. I am trying to self medicate with heating pads, epsom salt baths, and rubbing alcohol before taking that trip. I will keep you posted.

It is also fair to say that due to lack of exercise, my joints and muscles feel stiff, my agility compromised and again, it seems I am going Backwards versus pressing forward. Life happens and this too shall pass.

One thing I have realized is that my efforts are for a lifetime and are a lifestyle for me. I am no longer on a journey to lose weight, but to obtain good health, which if I achieve, will naturally lead to weight loss.

I am not discouraged at my setbacks, just taking the time to reflect and refocus to ensure I am in fact being safe, healthy and most of all fitandfree!









#healthandwellness #fitandfree #setbacks #keeppressing #walking #cardio #3poudweights #burnbodyfat

Simply Water

Since so much has happened since my last blog post, I am going to delve right into my story. You all may have realized by now that I love blogging my experiences. I am not a nutritionist, a fitness guru or things alike. I can not render medical advice in any way, nor can I tell you what works best for YOU. But what I can tell you is what I have learned, things I have experienced and both the positive and negative effects and changes  I have noticed as I continue on the path to being physically fit and holistically free.

Since my last blog post, there were some days that I did not consume as much water as I typically consume on any given day. As a result of that day’s water shortage, I noticed being incredibly bloated, having an extremely dry mouth and going to relieve myself of waste seemed to have taken a bit more effort than usual. Drinking the recommended dietary allowances of water helps with that. I learned in anatomy and physiology class that we are composed of 72% water, which helps with eliminating waste, removing bacteria from my system, hydration, lubricating joints and a plethora of other healthy benefits. Click the link to find other benefits of water according to the USCG.

I hope you had a chance to click the link to learn more about the healthy benefits of drinking water.

As I stated, there were a couple of days that my water intake was completely off. So were some of my body’s functions. Typically, my water regimen begins shortly after I arise each morning and continues through out the day. I begin my intake with about 8 ounces of warm water. I try to avoid really cold water in the mornings because cold water on an empty stomach does not agree with me. Warm water helps the digestion system and gets it flowing. At least that has been my observation. I love water. It is a part of my regimen that helps keep me healthy and strong.

When I am not drinking as much water, my body becomes bloated, I feel incredibly swollen, my feet, legs and hands swell and I feel completely awful. It feels as if I have gained 30 pounds. What a horrific feeling!

What am I saying? In a nutshell, water is important. You can’t live without it. And you should remember to get in your recommended dietary allowance of it. Some suggest 64 ounces per day are enough. Others suggest you should drink half your body weight. I try to adhere to the latter. Water is to my well being as breath is to the air I breath that gives me life. Can you see the importance here? Water is good! Water is refreshing! I drink water all the time! I encourage you to do so too!

#water #hydration #h20 #oxygen #hydrogen 20170405_102115



Walking Walking & More Walking

In the midst of life happening over the past nearly 2 months, my workouts have shifted from structured to unstructured. Due to temporarily not having a vehicle, I was forced to do more walking than usual. I walked everywhere. I walked to the store. I walked to take the kids to school. I walked to the bank. I walked to pick the kids up from school. Walking, walking and more walking. While I did not get in my Leslie Sansone or Beto Perez workouts, I did get in walking.   I noticed that the more I walked, the longer and farther I was able to walk. I also noticed my agility was off the chain. Springing up from a sitting position was seamless. While I missed my multi-moving walks with Leslie, I enjoyed distance walking. Walking is good for the heart. Distance walking is good for your stamina. But multi-muscle moving workouts get the whole body working.

While walking is wonderful, I’ve learned in the absence of structured workouts that move your total body, the joints get stiff, your muscles ache. Your agility becomes compromised and suddenly you are no longer able to stand as swiftly as you once could.

Being fitandfree is a process. Some weeks are not as productive as others. But as long as you keep pressing and being deliberate, you will prevail. And remember, it’s not all about working out, ensure to add healthy choices to your work outs so that you are being healthy and not just looking to drop a few pants and/or dress sizes. Be deliberate, be physically fit and holistically free.

As for me, IMAG0875I have bounced back in the swing of things and life has stabilized again. I got in 4 miles with Leslie Sansone yesterday. I felt amazing! I am thankful for it all! Walking, Walking and More Walking. But also, moving multi muscles, and getting fitandfree!





Going Green

It is not at all unusual for me to replace at least one meal per day with a delicious healthy smoothie which usually consists of kale greens, spinach, a banana, flax seeds and water. It sounds undesirable. But it is actually very pleasing to the palette. And not to mention healthy, and loaded with plenty vitamins and minerals needed to help with proper nourishment for ordinary daily functions of the body.

Last week, I decided to “Go Green”. I decided for the very first time that I would have a smoothie that consisted of only kale greens (both green and red) and water. I highly anticipated the smoothie to be completely nasty, yet a good and healthy choice for me for that day, at that time.

To my surprise, it was good! Not delicious. But good. It was something I could definitely get used to having. “Going Green” was not as bad as I had imagined it would be. Now, don’t be misled, I am a vegetarian, so being green is already a part of my every day diet. But going completely green in a smoothie without a fruit sweetener was non-chartered territory.

Let’s  face it, when consuming food, be it liquid or solid, we want our food to be delectable. We want to feel the texture of the food on our tongues. We desire it to be tasty and delicious to the palette. But sometimes, what tastes good to you, may not always be what is good for you.

Growing up in our parents households as children, our meals were the exact opposite of the meal I described above, and often included, meat for protein, a carbohydrate (or two) for starch and some type of vegetable (for vitamins and minerals). At the end, you were given some type of beverage to wash it all down. And in some cases, you were given dessert. Never did your parents consider “Going Green” as a meal option.

In fact, “going green,” and not just by way of green smoothies, has so many health benefits. According to, going green, reduces the chances of getting the diseases of the Western World such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, toxin build up, obesity, et al. All of which seem to be taking over the health of many Americans.

As I stated earlier, meals in my household included the traditional governmental recommended dietary allowances, that we were all taught were healthy by American standards in our society. But I have learned that the very meals that we considered to be normal and healthy, are actually very abnormal and unhealthy. But that’s a different blog for a different day.

Since I now know that “going green” gives me all the vitamins and minerals I need, (well, I have to ensure that I am taking in vitamins d and b12), I find ways to make it palatable and doable. Delectable even. It is actually exciting and so amazing to find so many healthier alternatives to animal products and chemically laden, unhealthy processed foods. I am exploring the healthy stuff and getting more than my share of calcium, vitamins a, k, c and e, living healthy and feeling better.

I can feel the affects and benefits of a clean, plant-based lifestyle. I feel healthy and quite amazing! I am even dropping a few pounds as a result it seems. I am Cassandra. And I am feeling healthy, fitandfree!  And I am not ashamed to admit that I am quite excited to be “Going Green!”

#cleaneating #plantbasedlifestyle #vitamins #minerals #healthy