guest post! marisa b.

by Janetha on November 5, 2009

in meals

I have been asked to be a guest blogger by Janetha.  I guess I should introduce myself.  I am her oldest sister, Marisa.  I live in the Bay Area and luckily Janetha has the foodbuzz thing this weekend, so she added a couple of days to visit me.  I think she really just wanted a taxi to H&M and Trader Joe’s, but I pretend she likes me.  I could tell you lots of stories but I won’t.  I will tell you that she likes to discuss weird things with me…like, “Is my blue your red?”  Wrap your head around that one.  We also love numbers and word games.  Maybe it is because we didn’t have a TV until I was 12 and so for entertainment we’d sit around and make lists of homonyms.  We are word and number geeks.

Anyway, I am mommy to three girls:
Kaylee is 8

Lucy just turned 6
Sofi is 3.5

I am also wife to Eric for 11 years now.  He is working long hours (5 am- 10:30 pm) for the next couple of weeks as they complete the hospital in San Quentin Prison.  I manage to keep the fort down and running the girls to school, soccer, the park and barely keep our own blog: It is not nearly as exciting as “meals & moves” but there are cute girls and our adventures on there.

So, as you can tell, I am pretty busy.   Janetha wanted me to share my experiences being a busy mom and doing Body for Life (BFL).  Here is my story…

Keeping in line with flashback friday.. here is a flashback photo of my family in June of 2006.

About 3 years ago, Eric decided he wanted to start an exercise program.  And he wanted me to do it with him.  Sofi was only 6 months old at the time and I still had some extra padding from the pregnancy.  I told him the only way I’d do anything is if we had a set plan.  I didn’t want to aimlessly go to the gym and try to eat healthy because I knew that would last 3 days.  We decided to do Body for Life starting on January 1, 2007.  Back then, Eric’s schedule was a little easier so we made a plan to do BFL together. We did cardio on MWF EARLY mornings and then he went to work and I went back to bed and rested until the girls were up.  T Th & S was weights.  We did all the work outs in our own home and did not have any fancy gym equipment.. jogging in place, jump roping without the jumprope, and just a few hand weights.  We had that figured out.  Except for the food.  Breakfast and snacks were easy.  We’d do protein shakes for breakfast, cottage cheese and apples and stuff like that for lunch.  It was dinner that I struggled with.  Keeping to the BFL guidelines, we basically ate a lot of chicken, salmon, spaghetti, rice, potatoes and salad the first week.  It got old fast.


Finally, I ordered the Eating for Life Cookbook and had my eyes opened to eating food we liked BFL style.  We started eating enchiladas, Asian noodles and protein pudding.  Stir fry, sloppy joes, chicken kabobs.  Taco pasta salad, shrimp scampi, meatloaf.  As the weight started dropping off and our bodies were feeling better,  we knew it was something we should always do.  I know the Eating for Life cookbook isn’t pure by the book Body for Life style, but it taught me how to balance things and make them better.  It taught me to make healthy food that tasted good and then the free days were really special.  Free days were full of Dr. Pepper, eating out and random cravings.  The 12 weeks flew by.  In the end, I lost about 12 pounds (I am only 5’1″) and Eric lost 30 pounds.  We were converted.  This is last month:

Now that time has passed, we have slacked off with a strict BFL style of life, but I pretty much still cook BFL dinners.   I use whole wheat noodles and ground turkey.  I find healthy ways to make the food we like.  My kids know they have to eat a few bites of whatever I make and have actually started requesting meals that they used to ward off like poison.  Sometimes they drench things in ranch dressing, but hey, they’re kids…and they still eat it.


Eric has taken up triathlons and eats small meals throughout the day.   It really makes life easier knowing that I need to have a protein, a carb and a veggie.  If anything I’ve learned, it is two things: eat more protein (since carbs are all around us and so easy to get) and watch portions.  Even being a BFL slacker, I’ve managed to maintain my weight.  I have to try my best and that is a lot better than it used to be.

It can be especially hard when you make chocolate chip cookies that put Mrs. Fields to shame.  Try these!

Marisa’s Cookies
3/4 cup butter, melted (use unsalted for semi-sweet and normal for milk chocolate)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
Cream together.  Add:
1 egg yolk
1 egg
1 TB vanilla.
Mix and add:
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips.
Scoop by 1/4 cup scoop and bake at 325 for about 13-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  This makes about 12-15 large cookies.  You could always make smaller cookies or double the recipe to get more…which is very dangerous!

They are amazingly delicious and if you are trying your best to do BFL, they are definitely free day food!

In closing…I find that life gets busy, but you still have to eat…so make good choices. I am by no means perfect (even though my mom thinks I am) and I need to head back to the gym between all of my mom responsibilities, but I figure being mommy to my girls is really important to me right now and I am trying to be the best me for them.  I love reading meals & moves because Janetha keeps me inspired to do better and when she loses weight she passes her clothes on to me.   Bonus!  I love reading everybody’s comments and the nice things they say about my baby sister.  Isn’t she the best?  You should meet her in person…then you’d really like her and love her like I do!

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mom November 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Love the post! Marisa is an expert “cruise director” and can pack more activities in one day that most can in a week – thanks for the trip down memory lane, love you Ree xoxoxo!!

Whole Body Love November 6, 2009 at 10:58 pm

As a fellow mom, I am very impressed that you got out of bed extra early to work out with your husband. I get up at 6:30 to get to school and work. When I brought up morning workouts, my fiance looked at me like I was nuts for thinking of waking up earlier just to workout together. I’m sure it was hard to cook BFL meals in the beginning without giving in to the kids’ favorites. Thanks for sharing your story!

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) November 6, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Hello Marisa! Thank you for the awesome post. I loved seeing your transformation. My goodness what BFL has done for your WHOLE family!

And your daughters simply couldn’t be any cuter. It’s just not possible!

I’m sorry I goofed and couldn’t meet you guys for lunch today. Janetha says shes in awe of all you do as a mom- I can believe that! Thanks again!


Lara (Thinspired) November 7, 2009 at 2:03 am

Hi Marisa! I love “meeting” blogger’s family members. Your girls are so adorable. I love the name Sofi/Sofia.

I’ve heard so much about BFL through Janetha’s blog, and now to see your success too is very cool. Thank you for sharing your story!

Marisa (Trim The Fat) November 7, 2009 at 6:36 am

Hi Marisa! I’m Marisa, too (and WE pronounce it the right way!) And my oldest daughter is Sofia, too! LOL!

Love reading about your journey with BFL! Oh, and the cookies – might have to make those today!

Emily (The Experimentarian) November 7, 2009 at 6:58 am

What a cool sister! I know how much Janetha loves her family, and it’s it’s so nice to be able to “meet” you :) I have had the chance to meet Janetha, and she is one of the sweetest most thoughtful people and all-around awesome person–how lucky to have a whole family like that! xoxo

Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian) November 7, 2009 at 8:18 am

okay, cutest. kids. ever. they are seriously adorable, and it is so refreshing to see how you all lead healthy lives and get along so well. thanks for this guest post – LOVED it :)

julie November 7, 2009 at 8:24 am

seriously your fam is insanely awesome :) LOVE this guest post! I’m thinking we need a Meals&Moves reality show…

no? okay fine.

well hope you’re having fun in San Fran girrrrl

Susan November 7, 2009 at 9:49 am

Hi Marisa! So nice to meet you! Loved hearing your BFL experience from a mom’s perspective – and I love that you’ve been able to maintain your weight while keeping up with the main principles of the program :) Oh, and you guys are obviously awesome parents by setting a good example for those three ridiculously cute girls. Hope the fam is having an awesome time together!! :D

Tay November 7, 2009 at 10:10 am

Hi Meals & Movies Sister! Great guest post, and yummy looking cookies :-) Congrats on your BFL success!! You look amazing.

Tiffany S. November 7, 2009 at 11:33 am

Great post, Marisa! So nice to meet you. I love how BFL has done so much for your family. You and your husband look great, and a nutritional foundation is so great for your adorable daughters. Your setting such a great example.

It’s sooo much harder for us petite women (I’m 5’4″), and I so glad you found something that worked that you could do together.

Thanks for jumping in. We all can’t wait to read Janetha’s reports on the Bloggerfest.

PS. Your mom has fab genes. I hope she knows that!

runningaroundnormal November 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Yay body for life fam! hehe
You have a gorgeous family, and I think it’s admirable all you do while your hubby is at work!

Suni November 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm

i FOR SURE have the best sisters in the world. you two inspire me…i mean how else would i get to the gym at 5:30 every morning? i’m just trying to keep up! love you both!

linds November 7, 2009 at 8:31 pm

great post ree. its tough to balance life. you do a pretty great job. miss you and hope to see you soon.

Lizzy November 7, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Marissa you are beautiful! You and janetha are the best! :)

Being a mom and balancing life, is a struggle in itself, so major props for doing all that you do!

Stacy(Eating To Live Love Laugh Tri) November 8, 2009 at 3:54 am

Thanks for sharing your story. It is awesome to see two sisters who obviously have a lot of love and respect for each other.

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