Rather than be a slave of trendy diets and 'the next' fitness fad, Maria has grounded her mental, physical and spiritual strengths in proven pillars of wellbeing.

Maria's foundation of inner strength and appreciation for all she has is renewed by being a constant student of yoga and meditation.

As mother of three children, Maria stays in shape by following two age old practices; running and the lifting of heavy weights.

A member of Bahrain Road Runnners, and an avid advocate of Mark Rippentoe's 'Starting Strength', Maria keeps her figure solid following a wholesome vegetarian diet.

My new diet and exercise routine!

This post is about the metabolism. Ok, it's about aging! 
I can't believe I reached this point! I've noticed a significant change in my body this year as clearly my metabolism has slowed down. 
Before, I could eat pretty much everything, just exercise daily to keep myself fit & trim.
Unfortunately not anymore! I had to change my diet and increase the volume of my cardio! With that I'm not loosing my weight, but only maintaining. Sad right?!
So here is what I eat 6 days a week (I keep one day as my cheat day). I’m not super strict as I believe in both eating healthily & enjoying it without resorting to dietary fads. My aim is to look good ALL year round - whilst eating a balanced diet. 
Bowl of homemade granola (oats, nuts, seeds) without sugar or honey but with 2 table spoons of a greek yogurt. 
Salad (mainly green leaves, avocado, seeds) with extra virgin olive oil and a dash of MCT oil. Try mixing salad with a green pesto. Yummy!
Same as lunch. Boring right? However I love salads. The trick is to make them interesting. I stock up on the ingredients so it’s super fast to prepare. It can be a stir fry instead of a salad too.
You can add some meat, chicken or fish. I'm mainly vegetarian.
I have one scoop of a vegan protein in a shake after my heavy weights sessions.
Snacks in between: decaf coffee (not more than 2 cups a day), nuts, 85% plain black chocolate (1 square, ok 2 when I'm extra sad!!). 
Then I go mad on my cheat day!!
Are you still reading this post? 
Haha. Now to ze exercises!
I lift heavy weights one day (low rep compound lifts like dead lift, squat, bench press & shoulder press, supported by high rep sets with kettle bells & dumbbells).
The next day it’s cardio (rowing and/or indoor/outdoor running). I repeat weights/cardio every other day, alternating over 6 days. 
Then it’s rest day on the 7th day! 
Possibly combining the rest day with a cheat day (ice cream - nam nam) and sauna/massage.
I found with my slowing metabolism I had to double my cardio volume. I usually train cardio at steady state. It’s a form of meditation in its own right.
What I will try next and report to you guys is if I increase the cardio intensity (like doing intervals) and see if that speeds up my metabolic rate.
 I'm still lifting the same, no changes there yet.
Why am I writing all this? Because I want to maintain fit, healthy, strong, active and I want you to look and feel your best too. 
I want us to be aware and to make intelligent choices. I want us to be great role models for our next generation.