Mariana Fernandes is a born and raised New Jersey girl, but this IFBB Pro athlete has tropical Brazilian blood running through her veins. Ever since Mariana was very young she has always been very active and attracted to this kind of lifestyle. At the age of 8, she became a part of a local dance company and pursued ballet, modern, jazz for the following 10 years of her life. However, when she got to Rutgers University she put her dancing aside and began focusing on her studies where she earned her degree in Psychology and a double minor in Public Health and Women & Gender Studies.
Nevertheless, in order to stay fit, she joined a local gym and began exploring different ways of staying in shape. At first, as any typical rookie to the gym, Mariana was completely intimated by the endless sea of equipment, which caused her to only stick to her comfort zone of treadmills and ellipticals. But with time she began exploring weight training and preparing for 5k races and obstacle challenges. When she began to realize how she was able to shape and mold her body to her liking she wanted to push herself even further. This was when she reached out to Bombshell Fitness and began preparing for her first NPC show.
February 2014 marked that date she first began to seriously prepare for her first NPC Show. From the moment she stepped on stage she knew she had found her calling and completely fell in love with the sport. Mariana pushed herself not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well making her grow in ways she had never expected. Her first show was in April 2014 and by her 5th show on July 2014 she was on the NPC National stage and earned her IFBB Pro Card as well as taking the title of Overall Bikini Champion.
Mariana is determined to continuously push her limits to see how far she can go. Her heart is all about fitness, having fun, and being adventurous. She loves to be able to inspire others and the biggest compliment she can receive is when someone tells her that she was the one that caused them to change their lives for the better.
WBFF Pro Figure Diva/Athlete
Also being a figure competitor and doing Paleo has some people scratching their head, since it is considered a “low-carb diet”. Paleo is naturally low in carbs, but can be modified to suit your nutritional needs depending on activity level. I add additional carbs when necessary to help me with my training and performance.
100% confident in my program translates onto the competition stage and as long as I am happy with me then I am already a winner!!
Also another key to a successful healthy lifestyle is planning your meals and snacks. I cook and prep my food weekly and it takes all the guess work out of what to eat each day. If you have it planned chances are you will follow it since you went to great lengths to cook it yourself and you know exactly what you are eating. I think
many people have a hard time with this step, but if you plan ahead and design some really simple recipes then you have just made a huge leap to a positive change in your health goals. That is what I hope my meal plans will bring to people is the ease of cooking while enjoying some really yummy foods.
I have developed a Paleo meal plan and currently working on my website Paleofitchick.com WOW, had no idea of building a website is a big challenge, but it’s a dream and goal I intend to finish and so excited and worth every minute! Below are a couple of recipes I out of my meal plan I hope you will enjoy!
Paleo Immune Booster Power Bars
8 medjool dates, pits removed
¾ coconut flakes, shredded
½ cup of raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
¾ cup of nuts, (I used ½ walnuts and ½ pecans)
½ cup cacao nibs
½ cup dried goji berries
1 tsp raw unfiltered honey
½ tsp cinnamon
Kickin Chicken Thighs
3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 jalapenos diced (I use the jar jalapenos and just chop them up)
2 garlic cloves minsed
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp raw unfiltered honey
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp fresh or dried Rosemary
1 tsp black pepper
In a bowl, combine all ingredients except lemon. Next pour in a gallon ziploc bag and then add your chicken thighs to the bag. Seal shut and then I take the bag and work the marinade around the chicken make sure it is good and coated. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Next day grill them on medium heat sealed up in aluminum foil for about 20-30 minutes. Next open the foil and squeeze lemon on thighs and seal back for a few minutes.
I feel so blessed to be at this point in my life and very thankful! My goals are to help and to inspire others, especially women my age. You are never too old to chase a dream whether to get on stage or just to improve your overall quality of life. I have a wonderful family, job and coach and wonderful teammates that are always
Also, a huge thanks to my coach, Greg Hasberry with Elite Fitness and Figure, for training me and believing in me.
He is passionate about health and wanting the best for all of his competitors. Greg is like family to me and I am so thankful he is in my life and is constantly guiding me and my other teammates the value of success. I have so many wonderful friends and teammates that are constantly supporting me as well as each other to reach their goals.
In conclusion, as individuals we all have dreams and to turn that dream into a reality is an absolute joy that cannot be duplicated. Wherever the road my lead you, I say go for it!!! You have nothing to lose other than not trying it at all. You just have to get up and get to that start line of that race and go!! Needless to say I have my challenges just like everyone else, but I get up each day full of new goals and hopes that are waiting for me to accomplish.
We are never promised a tomorrow, so embrace each day and live your life to the fullest!!
I invite you to my facebook fan page and other social media sites to get more great nutrition tips and recipes and my journey to the 2015 Worlds Figure Pro show August in Las Vegas!!
I am passionate about modelling and arts. I want to use art of athletic posing to express my feelings. I feel at my best being on stage.
I prepared very hard to compete in that first show and all the others thereafter. Therefore, I keep in mind on thing: Now if you want to win, there is no way around hard work. If you want something big, you got to give a lot to get it!
Since the first time I touched a weight, I fell in love with the gym even though I didn’t know where everything was going to bring me. I should also specify how and where I started.
I’m currently planning on competing at the North American Championship 2015!
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1/27/2009. That’s the day I said that I was going to make a change. After being struck by a drunk driver in 2002 I had been on disability for 7 years. I have 4 herniated discs in my low back. I was done being a victim. I had to make a change for my sons sake. He was turning One and I didn’t want him to know me like this.
I had been fit for 12 years before my health was TAKEN from me. I figured I would diet and do push ups. That led to P90X. Then I dated an NPC bikini competitor and attended my first show. That is when I saw the men in board shorts. I was almost 42 years old but I knew I wanted to look like that. My grind hasn’t stopped. I did 7 NPC shows in 10 months and earned my IFBB card. I did 9 IFBB shows in 13 months. My goal is to keep improving. This is my calling. I’m 44 and I feel 34. My 30’s were robbed from me by a drunk driver. I’m taking those years back!!!!
FB: Brian Epstein
There is something that twinkles in the eye of a hero. That twinkle is a sign of their determination. But where does this determination come from? Can that determination be created. I say yes. Yes, you can create that determination. Yes, you can create the Hero’s Might.
First, I want to talk about the determination that crates the twinkle in the hero’s eye. This determination is a desire to compete. The desire to compete is strong. It boils and brims. The desire to compete makes the hero’s mouth water. The hero may even begin to salivate at the chance to compete, for the chance to show what they are made of, and to match their might against the opposition.
The hero’s might need not just be manifest on the sports field or in the stadium, I can be on the practice mat or in the pool, it can be on the job, or a school, it could be on the exam or with the shovel or saw. The hero’s might is the determination to present your best to show the world or just yourself your strength.
This brings me to how to create the hero’s might.
The hero’s might is rarely something you are born with. But it is always possible to create it. To create the hero’s might first, choose what you want to improve at. Next learn how to improve at it. This might come from both knowledge and practice. As you practice your knowledge about how to improve can increase. This rarely happens without a goal and a deadline. This is why some compete to fuel their intensity and effectiveness of practice. Your practice does not need to be perfected before you perform, because every performance is also practice for the next time you need to perform.
If every performance is an opportunity to learn how to improve, every performance can improve the efforts you make. Choose to improve at something, choose to compete, to perform, and choose to learn. Implement these steps and ideas in your life and you too will begin to feel the hero’s might.
Never a rest day, never a cheat day, because life happens.
- Sleeping on your side
- Shaker Cups
- Water jugs
- Shower Sandals
- Bodybuilding vs Powerlifting
- Eating out
- Helping out
- Attention in Public
- Carb Craving Crankiness
- Body dysmorphia
- Extended gut
- bigger pillows, spell on your back, or phone a friend
- clean daily
- recycle or invent something new
- hand dryers
- do one then the other
- No cheat meal/day
- show what muscle is made of
- Be magnanimous
- Be the first to say hello
- Slow and steady, don’t clown around
- Track progress and be kind
- Eat frequently