LYBF episode 1 – The Journey 

so, over the last couple months I’ve been working with Taqee Bond of Word Of Mouth Radio on a great project. He came to me in January and told me he wants to change his life around and needs my help. We decided to document his weight loss Journey into a mini doc. The reason this is important is because right now is someone who is struggling wight weight loss and needs motivation. This is his ” Last Year Of Being Fat” and for anyone watching this is your last year accepting anything that you have the ability to change! 
Yesterday you said tomorrow… Now time to get to it! I’m really proud of this documentary. You guys will get a look into the up and down struggle of dealing with weight, food, and me. 

Hope you enjoy episode one! And stay tuned for his story as it unfold over the course of the next couple weeks. 

Epiphany on a Sectional Plate


Saturday I ran my second half marathon, (I ran the first one just 2 weeks prior). It was hard  but mainly because I ran on a sprained foot, (don’t ever do that, it’s dumb) and partly because I didn’t eat enough food.

What my race taught me was maybe I have to change the way I look at food. Maybe food shouldn’t just been seen as this treat. Maybe I need to start looking at food as fuel and think of my body as a machine. And when you think about it your body is a machine and the food is fuel to keep it moving. When you give a machine only what it needs it runs more efficiently and with more power.

But that concept is a little hard for me because what you need may not always taste good. At least thats what people tell me. I like what tastes good and that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for me. But that doesn’t mean what’s good for you can’t taste good either.

In talking with some friends yesterday, I noticed that I ate better when I was eating off my sectional plate. And by better I mean waaaaay less take out. Now don’t judge me I was eating off a sectional plate because I didn’t want my food to touch not for portion control. But now because I don’t I feel like I’m losing that sense of portion control. I think I over eat now and that’s probably what most people consider their regular meal.

So for tonight’s dinner…

  • 3 barbecue pieces of chicken (2 wings and a leg)
  • 2 medium roasted potatoes
  • 6 asparagus stalks

Everything was grilled. I like grilling it’s easy and quick. All of those things are good for me and will fuel my body so that it can function at its highest peak. Just remember that each meal is a new opportunity to start over.


QLFs Top 20 Fruits Ranked By Sugar Intake #4-1 

Annnnnnnnnnnd the winners are !!!! 

* somewhere along the way I stopped going to math class… Don’t judge my ranking… It went left somewhere *

4) cantaloupe, 9.4g of sugar

I’m not a big fan but I respect the Cantaloupe because it’s high in water content. And has a the fat-soluble vitamin that helps maintain eye and skin health in addition to boosting immune function. Enjoy it.  
3) watermelon, 9.4g of sugar 

Well, well, well, the watermelon gets a horrible rep, but look who made it to the top 5. ( some of that rep is from culture but we won’t go there) It could partly be because it tastes so sweet, and it’s low in slow-digesting fiber, but the Good news is because watermelon has some impressive health benefits like  improving  lipid profiles and lower fat accumulation. 

2) Strawberries, sugar of 7.4g

The strawberry is Americas darling so I’m just going to tel you how to eat them…When it comes to how to prepare them, be sure you’re eating them whole, slicing up strawberries exposes them to light and oxygen, which can break down their precious vitamin C!
1) Blackberries, 7g of sugar – 7g of fiber

The amazing part about blackberries is it has more grams of fiber than there are grams of sugar, you can snack on them knowing they’ll be furthering your weight loss goals.

1) raspberries, 5.4g- 8.0 of fiber 

Due to the high fiber count, raspberries are small and great to eat all day without doing any damage to your waistline. Eat them solo or throw them in Greek yogurt for a quick snack.
1) cranberries, 4.3g of 3.6 of fiber 

The reason they have that tart taste is cause they literally have just enough sugar in them to qualify. You can literally overdose on this fruit- and to still give tall something ” smart” – In an analysis of the cancer-fighting phenol antioxidant content of 20 fruits, cranberries were found to have the highest amount.



Everyday that you wake up is a new opportunity to start over, and that includes eating cleaner. Don’t wait until Monday (unless of course it’s Sunday when you’re reading this) or New Years. That’s too long. Hit that reset button tomorrow or now even. I say all that to say, I’ve hit the reset button quite a few times during this journey to healthier eating.

And until you get to a point where it becomes second nature, or the new norm, you can hit the reset at any time. In fact even when you have made healthy eating a habit, you can still hit the reset button! There’s always room for improvement.

I’ve been meal prepping/ planning off and on for the past 6 weeks as well as limiting my take out. The good news is despite the roller coaster of life I’ve been on for most of this challenge, it’s working. I do see the changes in the way my clothes fit, and more importantly how I feel.

I often say don’t beat yourself up and I mean it. All that self loathing just deters you, giving you less and less motivation to want to do better.

With all that said one meal at a time you can see the change .




QLFs Top 20 Fruits Ranked By Sugar Intake #9-5

So, I want to start by thanking you guys for keeping the hate mail to a minimum today. It was a lot better then Monday. I also want to say this: In no way am I suggesting that you shouldn’t  eat fruits but what I am saying is, eat, enjoy, and work the sugar off. If your sitting on the Couch all day watching House Of Cards, then you might need this list more than most. With that being said, let’s get into #9-#5.
9) Honeydew Melon, 13.8g

Ain’t this bout a B****, I really didn’t see that coming. But A cup of honeydew is low in calories and is primarily made up of H20, making it a great food to keep you full, which can help you lose weight over time, but it also brings more immediate slimming results to the table thanks to its natural diuretic effect.


8) Pears, 13.7g of sugar 

Pears only contain about 100 calories each, this fruit is a good source of vitamin C and contains 6 grams of fiber per  fruit (24% of your daily value). They also help keep hunger at bay thanks to “pectin”, a soluble fiber that attracts water and turns to gel, in-turn slows down digestion.

7) Apple, 13g of sugar 

An Apple Is a great snack for people with diabetes and insulin resistance because they’re high in fiber to slow sugar spiking.


6) peach 12.9g of sugar 

I only thought this fruit was cool because 112 and girls around the world said so but this “stone fruit” contains phenolic compounds that modulate different expressions of genes to ward off obesity, high cholesterol, inflammation, and diabetes…you’re welcome peach, you are no longer a sidekick to cream, and punchline jokes. 

5) Nectarines 11.3g of sugar 

The the less cool cousin of a peach, nectarines just barely edged out its look-a-like for lower sugar content and higher fiber. Like peaches, nectarines are also high in beta-carotene and vitamins A and C. But nectarines can help your  pH balance, assisting with protein synthesis and helping with the digestion of carbohydrates. ( they might be cooler than the peach on second thought )


This list is getting crazy!! Stay tuned for the next and last installment to the sugar ranking. 

QLFs Top 20 Fruits Ranked By Sugar Intake #14-10

Okay…. See, I told you guys to take a seat before you got into that list. Trust me, I cried all over my iPhone as I wrote it. I actually think It has water damage now. But, the show must go on. Let’s jump right into 14-10 sighhhhhh… I know, I know…
14) Grapefruit, 15g of sugar 

This is very tricky , because According to a study in the journal Metabolism, eating half a grapefruit before meals helped reduce belly fat and lower cholesterol levels. So it’s benefits might outweigh its high sugar content. 
13) Apricot, 15.3g of sugar 

Packed with vitamin A, helps your skin glow, and potassium which can help  keep your metabolism running high, and is crucial for the digestion of nutrients such as carbohydrates and fat, as well as the absorption of energy from these nutrients.

Pro Tip: lay off the dried version of these ( more sugar ) 
12) Grapes, 15g of sugar 

Grapes contain this thing called resveratrol content, because it’s a plant compound that has been linked to improving heart health, burning fat, and boosting weight loss. 

11) Blueberries, 14.7g of sugar – my favorite 

According to studies blueberry intake  has been shown to improve blood fat balances, including reduction in total cholesterol, raising of HDL cholesterol, and lowering of triglycerides and taste amazing.
10) Oranges, 14g of sugar 

I learned this a while ago,vitamin C before a workout can reduce muscle soreness and prevent the formation of free radicals. A single orange supplies 116 percent of your DV for vitamin C. Try eating about half at a time. 
This is like a great horror movie, the suspense of who will be number one on this list is great. Tune in next time as we go over 9-5!!

QLFs Top 20 Fruit Ranking by Sugar intake (20-15)

Wise man told the other wise man… ” Too much of a good thing is sometimes not a good thing “.
While that sounds weird, it’s actually true. And health and fitness is a prime example of this. Which is what makes it so hard for people to be successful in this arena. Often times we think we are doing the right thing by drinking all these smoothies , taking away 99% of our carb intake, and even running in place on a conveyor belt for 10 hours straight just to find out that 
” Too much of a good thing can kill you” 

*not literally, but then again…. Why not literally *

I say all that to say this: what them sneaky fruits, they can hurt you just like they help you. Most times when people start a ” eat right program”. The fist thing they do is head to the local grocery store and pack their carts with every fruit in the aisle. While that’s not a bad thing at all, keep in mind that fruits have sugar. Yes, I know, it’s natural sugar- natural sugar verses added sugar is actually a lot closer than you think. In fact, there’s no real difference. Both of these sugars are ultimately broken down into fructose and glucose, which are metabolized the same once they reach your gut.

But, Because the sugar in fruits is paired with fiber and water, it’s released much more slowly into your body, providing you with a consistent stream of energy, which In turn is a reason to NOT think your apple is as good as your poptarts. 

According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are : 

Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons). Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).

Now that we got that out the way, let’s actually cover the best and worst fruits to have from a sugar perspective. This might get depressing, I suggest you have a seat before you read anymore. 
20) bananas 18.3g of sugar 

The thing about the banana is, it  can help you sleep, build lean muscle, and burn fat, but compared to other fruits they’re pretty high in sugar and carbs, my suggestion: stick to one five-inch portion a day. This ensures you’ll reap all the fruit’s benefits with ought gaining inches on the waistline. 
19) Sweet Cherries 17.7g

I didn’t know people ate this outside of sex scenes in movies but One cup of these guys has about 306 milligrams of potassium, which helps keep blood pressure in check. And they are pretty high in fiber (3g) so manage to only eat a serving size of them.
17). Plum 16.4g of sugar 

The plum is interesting because they have the abilty to ward off contracting diabities , obesity , or even high blood pressure. Yet and still, you have to be carful with how many you eat. God has a great sense of humor. 

16) Pinapple 16.3g of sugar 

The cool thing about the Pinapple is, it’s considered  is one of nature’s best sources of manganese, which is essential for energy production. A cup provides 76 percent of your daily recommended intake, making pineapple nature’s answer to Red Bull.

15) Kiwi 16.2g of sugar 

I’m gonna assume most of us have been eating kiwis all wrong. Did you know The skin of kiwi fruits contain cholesterol-lowering fiber, antioxidants, and immune-boosting vitamin C ? Thank me later. But while this is great watch the amount of them you take in.

Iight, so BOOM… You guys just got the first five out of 20 on the ranking ! Stay tuned for the rest this week. 
* makes a smoothie as he watches the word burn * 

The Relapse

Life comes at you fast. Throughout this journey, I focused a lot on the things that make it hard to stick to healthy eating. As I approach the final three weeks of this challenge, I want to bring attention to something that I’ve noticed is a major problem not just for me but others in my position.

Beyond the fact, that I love food, sometimes I just don’t have time. And what I mean by that is time to meal prep or an hour and a half to cook that meal I really want. So, what’s a girl to do? If you’re like me and most others you opt for takeout. Now takeout is only your friend as far as convenience goes. Otherwise, it wreaks havoc on your wallet and your waistline.

Exhibit A.


And you’re entitled to eat take out if you don’t have time or just plain don’t feel like it. Yes there are several meal prep and delivery options but sometimes you just want something quick and within the vicinity. Something local. If you live in a GrubHub/ Seamless friendly neighborhood then you have a wealth of options but if you life in an “up and coming”, newly gentrifying neighborhood like I do you’re limited on healthy options. I can only imagine how much harder this is for someone who can’t cook.

In my neighborhood there are very few ‘food’ options. We have traditional bodega food, Spanish, classic Chinese, Crown and the very new Indian cuisines. Personally, I frigging love Indian food because well it’s spicy and I love spicy. So what is life when you’re hungry and can’t/ don’t want to cook? You could always move, presumably if you can afford the rent in a neighborhood that has more food options.

But if you can’t… Here’s what you can order but don’t make it a habit.

Bodega: Just a sandwich and keep it simple. This is pretty much the healthiest thing in the store. Be easy though, deli meats have lots of chemicals.

Spanish: Stay away from the chuleta fritas (fried porkchops). It’s not the cleanest food to eat but it’s probably what you would eat at your abuela’s house and much healthier than the bullshit you’d probably eat. But don’t make it a staple in your diet.

Crown Fried Chicken: DO NOT COLLECT $200, GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL – meaning don’t even think about eating here.

Chinese: This one is tricky. As a Brooklyn native, four chicken wings with pork fried rice is a hood staple. And if you feel like balling, General Tso’s chicken will have you feeling fancy. But I’m going to strongly advise that you order only the steamed options.

Indian: This is probably one of the healthiest options in my neighborhood, and yet the most expensive. So I can’t even drop $10 here and get a decent anything. But when I do buy from here it’s worth it.

So yeah a busy week, where you can’t cook can really screw up your eating plans, if you don’t plan ahead.
Nia Raquelle is Brooklyn native, currently having a secret love affair with desserts while in a long term relationship with long distance running. 

Follow her antics on IG, EatWithNia, SnapChat, GarminConnect – EatWithNia
And you can challenge her to a run on the Nike+ app – NiaRaquelle. She might beat you though.