Sunday, February 24, 2013

My "Not-So-Secret" Health Regimen

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I accomplished by dream of becoming Miss Boston after so much hard work! This has left me feeling so humbled, blessed, and even MORE ambitious to share my platform: Fit for Success. Lets make America a healthier place to live!! So... back to the blog :)
Hard work pays off! Lifestyle & Fitness winner at Miss Boston! :)
 Over the past few weeks and months, I've received several messages about my "secrets" to staying healthy. I truly believe health is always a work in progress, but I'm happy to share what has worked for me thus far! However... I'm here to tell it straight forward. Everything you have EVER heard about eating right and exercising... is true. Plain and simple. Now, you just need to abide by it and watch your body change! I'll be honest, a few years ago when I really became dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, I thought it was my way or the highway. I'd happily enjoy my cookies and junk food (but hey, it was only once a day), and I wondered why my body wasn't changing:

"Where is the magic fairy dust?" "I started exercising- but why don't don't I have a 6-pack yet?" "Well, I wasn't going to have sweets today... but that can start tomorrow!" Are thoughts I often had, yet I was still sitting, wishing, and waiting for my body to 'feel better.' Isn't it AMAZING that once I started listening to the tips I've heard for my entire LIFE (eat right, exercise often, in every single health class every single semester) I FINALLY began to notice changes?!

This is what it is all about. Unfortunately, you will NOT notice differences in your body, until you start putting effort forth. There is no magic fairy. There is no magic pill. There is no one that can burn calories for you. You get ONE body. ONE life. Are you ready to start living it the way YOU want it?! I'm here to tell you:

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now that the 'crabby' part of this blog is over (sometimes you just gotta be a little harsh to get the point across!), lets get on with the show. Listed below are the changes I've made to my lifestyle over the past 2 years. Honestly, this was a full 2-year gradual process. It took time, effort, and learning for me to make these changes. I don't believe it is possible to make one large, drastic change at once. It takes time for your mind and body to adjust, and it is important you set realistic goals so that they are attainable.

Morgan's "Not-So-Secret" Regimen:
A good start is switching from eating 3 large meals a day to 5-6 smaller meals. This is important to keep your metabolism going throughout the day! And of course- NEVER skip breakfast! (how many times have you heard this?) Kick start your metabolism first thing in the AM. I've never gone longer than 4 hours without eating- Starving yourself is never ever the trick.

My Diet: limited sugar, carbs, and dairy (upsets my stomach). All-natural carbs like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and fruit.  Protein is important at every meal (egg whites, protein shake, lots of chicken breasts), 2-3 fruits per day and as many vegetables as possible (especially green ones). I aim to ingest my 'sugars' (fruits/carbs) in the morning so it doesn't turn into fat overnight. No dressings besides balsamic vinegar and I use herbs to season my chicken breasts instead of dipping sauces! Minimal cheeses- possibly a low-fat mozzarella cheese stick occasionally. A majority of my fats come from raw almonds, olive oil, avocados, all-natural peanut butter. And of course: TONS of water! Water ALL day!
A Typical Day of Eating
Breakfast: 2 cups coffee with 1 T cream and 1 T unsweetened almond milk. Unsweetened plain oatmeal with a diced banana and cinnamon
Mid-Morning snack: protein shake if I worked out, otherwise Greek yogurt, or plain rice cake with PB, egg whites, fruit
Lunch- salad with a protein (chicken)
Mid-Afternoon snack: almonds, carrots/peppers and hummus, an apple
Dinner: protein, vegetables, sweet potato, salad

I've completely eliminated: sweets, pasta, rice, (unless it is brown, whole wheat, or quinoa), all chips, candy, soda, any beverage besides water (and coffee in the morning), sugar cereals/oatmeal, frozen meals (sodium central), granola bars, pizza & junk, added salt

Exercise- 5 days a week. More if I'm lucky enough to find time before running around at my job at My Gym Children's Fitness Center on weekends! Variations of cardio (I love to run! At least 3 miles/day), weight lifting, and total-body exercises throughout the week. Usually at least an hour at the gym per day, consisting of 30-40 minutes cardio, alternating between arms/legs/back/abs each day, and mixing it up with 'total-body-workouts in between; stretching at the end) Lean protein shakes afterward.
I track every single meal with "My Fitness pal" which enables me to count the fats/carbs/proteins I've ingested each day, and helps me to figure out which nutrients I still need to eat in my day! It is a wonderful way to stay on track.

And of course: I ALWAYS have a cheat meal during the week! So yes, those "eliminated foods" certainly come into play for my cheat meal! Everything I read and hear stresses the importance of a cheat meal. It jump-starts your metabolism, confuses your body, and gives you some extra calories to fuel you through the week! I LOVE cheat meals, and the only time you can ever get me to skip one is the week before a pageant :)
Once again, it took me two years to progress to my current diet. It definitely is a learning experience! I PACK ALL OF MY MEALS AND SNACKS! Yes, salad in tupperware, balsamic vinegar in a mini-tupperware, raw almonds in baggies, you name it. This has been the only way I've been able to stay on track- plus you're saving money from avoiding eating out! Bored? Chew on some sugar free gum and sip water! Aim for a gallon of water a day (128 ounces- I fill my water bottle up over 5 times)! Lastly, I strive to stop eating 2 hours before bedtime.
All in all: put DOWN those chips. Everything that goes in your mouth will contribute to your body. Quit eating that midnight snack! Save it for your cheat meal! Don't even allow yourself to buy junk food at the grocery store! If you buy healthy foods, you will eat healthy foods. Stop making excuses. Start seeing results. Your body will feel SO cleansed, inside and out!

Now, don't be scared off by this. I KNOW you can do it! And if you need a supporter, let me be your first one! Go take on this world. Create the body you have dreampt of. Be proud and patient with yourself. LETS GET HEALTHY!!!
<3 Morgan


  1. Wow, I love your blog! I have just read the whole thing! lol
    I struggle with my weight and I just can't seem to get started treating my body with the respect is deserves.
    I am still at the stage where I look at what you eat in a day and I feel hungry! lol But it's nice to see someone who is so healthy, fit and smart. You're not starving yourself by any means and for me, it's nice to see that.
    Keep up the blog, I am totally loving the inspiration!

    1. Heather, you made my day! It means the world to me that I can connect with people and hopefully inspire a few to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle. I know you can do it! And you are right, starving yourself is never the answer. I am a huge "foodie" and I'm always contemplating what my next meal will be, so I can never go more than a few hours without eating.. you can still have an awesome relationship with food, just make it healthy! Thanks for inspiring me to keep writing. You got this, girl!

  2. Congratulations! You deserve to reach your dream cuz you work so hard to achieve it.

  3. Wow, I can't imagine having your schedule as a wife and mom of 2 but I do know that making similar changes in our diet has really helped me lose an extra 30lbs of baby weight and done so much for my overall health. I workout 3 times a week and just try to keep up with housework and I feel and look great. I've always believed in fitness but didn't address diet as much, but it really makes a difference.

  4. So how much, calorie-wise, do you eat per day? I estimate no more than 1500 from your sample menu, but that seems very low for the amount that you work out.