My Summer 2020 Workout Playlist (pt. 1)

I don’t know about y’all but I’m someone that NEEDS a fire playlist before I can even think about working out. The idea of working out without music fills me with sheer terror almost as badly as the terror I feel when I see people workout in jeans (seriously, wtf). I’m also someone who usually has multiple genres of music on a workout playlist unless I’m going with a theme (early 2000s hip-hop was easily my most played playlist in May). Taking all of these things into account, it only made sense that I create a Summer Workout playlist to share with my beloved readers.

I really enjoyed sharing my Valentine’s Day playlist on my blog so I decided to give it another try so I can combine two of my favorite things: working out and MUSIC. Many of these songs came out recently this year and will definitely define Summer 2020 for me. Some of the songs are just my summer favorite in general and find themselves on any Summer playlist I make, workout or not. Some of these I don’t even know when they came out but I heard them somewhere and just have been jamming to them. Either way, this playlist is a reflection of what I’ve been enjoying lately as I continue my home workouts (I still don’t trust the gyms). Hopefully you like it as much as I do and if not, you at least find something new to jam to.

Get Up 10 – Cardi B

This is just a great song to start a workout playlist with. It makes perfectg sense it was the opening song of Cardi’s 2018 Debut album. This song is usually one most of workout playlists because it gets me hype as hell.

Heartless – The Weeknd

Moment of honesty, this song had to grow me on. When I first heard it, it was whatever. Now I’m obsessed. I actually love the whole album but that’s a topic for another day. The energy in this song is just everything.

Ballin’ – Roddy Rich, Mustard

This song is by no means new but I still feel like the first time I heard it every time I hear it. It isn’t as high energy as I would usually have but it’s a vibe nonetheless. I just can’t listen to this song and stay in a bad mood.

Savage (Remix) – Megan Thee Stallion, Beyoncé

Another song I really didn’t love…that was at least until the REMIX came along. Anyone who knows me knows I am the ultimate Beyoncé fan…maybe even stan. I also love Megan Thee Stallion usually but the TikTokers ran the orginal version into the damn ground! Haha, anyways…I really like this song and it totally gives me Summer 2020 feels.

Dura – Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, Becky G, Natti Natasha

This song is a forever fave and reminds me of when I went to the Dominican Republic back in 2018. Similarly to Ballin, I can’t listen to this song and be in a bad mood. It’s the perfect reggaeton track for me to level up on whatever workout I’m doing on.

RITMO – Black Eyed Peas, J Balvin

This song is just so damn catchy. I really can’t even explain but this song just makes me super excited to workout and crush it. Never knew Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin was the collab I needed but here we are.

Rain On Me – Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga’s music literally just makes me so happy…unless it’s one of her more serious ones. The subject matter of this song is pretty sad BUT the upeat tempo just makes me wanna dance and/or workout. Takes me back to 2011 even though it came out this year.

Beautiful (MaRLo Remix) – What So Not, Winona Oak

I discovered this song on one of the soul cycle intstructor’s I follows home workout one day and I literally have listened to it every day since then. As a Vegas girl, EDM has a special place in my heart.

Starry Eyed (Jakwob Remix) – Ellie Goulding

This song reminds me of being in my dorm room while my roommate was having her own mini-party. She played this all the time and I loved it so much. It is such a high energy track that is perfect for a workout.

Party Up (Up In Here) – DMX

This is literally one of my favorite workout songs of ALL time. It fits every season, every mood. Truly a timeless masterpiece that makes me want to lift hella heavy and slap a b*tch.

Cash Shit – Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby

OMG this takes me back to Summer 2019 and now will forever be in my summer rotation. Megan raps “I can’t be fucked with, no…” and that is me at the gym/during my home workout, all day.

ROYL – Chloe x Halle

I talked about how much I loved Chloe x Halle’s NEW album Ungodly Hour in my last post but for some reason I cannot stop playing this song! It was only right I add it to my summer playlist. It’s so damn catchy.

Happier – Marshmello, Bastille

Another sad song with a happy beat that makes me enjoy working out. I don’t think I can ever get tired of this song. You know how I know? I played it on repeat my entire first law school finals season back in December 2018 and NEVER got sick of it.

Save Your Tears – The Weeknd

I just love this song and catch myself singing the chorus over and over to myself more often than I’d like to admit.

Can I – Kehlani, Tory Lanez

A little freaky for my typical workout playlist but it’s still a vibe nonetheless. I really liked the entire album and usually by this point I’m cooling down.

So Bad – Jojo

This song should be muuuuuuch longer than it is but it’s perfect to stretch to after a killer workout. It also makes me wish I was going to pole dancing classes but that’s neither here nor there. Jojo’s album is also REALLY great.

Let me know what you’re jamming out to when you workout this summer! Leave a comment with your favorite workout songs. Click here to view the playlist on Tidal.

My Current Favorite Workout Routines

Hey y’all! I hope you are doing well given the circumstances. This past week I attempted to conduct a Q&A Session on my Instagram stories in order to write a blog full of questions from you all and answers from me. I think next time I want to use my CuriousCat instead because I know some people are shy. If you would like to ask questions anonymously, please see my CuriousCat here. For this round, I only got one question, but it was such a great one! Someone asked me for my “fave workout routines.” I’ve been trying to find my flow for working out at home for the last few weeks and I think I finally found some routines and a schedule I don’t hate. Full disclosure, my dad has always been a super-duper homebody and has some workout equipment that many people might not have at their homes and some of my routines do incorporate that. I also already own resistance loops for booty work and was able to snag some 10lb dumbbells and a yoga mat before things got super crazy, so I use those as well. Find a perfect substitution for you. I also want to say while I do enjoy working out, I am by no means a certified fitness trainer. The only format I am certified is MixxedFit which incorporates dance moves with body weight toning. These are just workouts that work for me, please make sure to look up how to do the moves properly before you attempt any of these routines.

Full Body Workout

I think if you want to get a good workout in, it always a good idea to have one longer workout routine that incorporates various parts of the body. When I was able to go to the gym, full body workouts were my absolute favorite and they still are now that I workout from home. This routine has become my go-to on the days I have more time to dedicate to working out and relaxing afterwards.

First things first, it’s important to warm up before you workout. For my full body workouts I usually workout this way:

  • Resistance Band Walk 30 Secs 2x
  • Resistance Band Hip Adduction 12 reps 2x
  • Resistance Band Kickbacks 12 reps 2x

After warming up I get into the workout:

  • Lateral Raise & Front Raise – Dumbbells (Superset) 10-12 reps 3x (click here for an example) (these are great for when you want to get more of a workout in but use less time)
  • Squats – w/ Dumbbells or Bodyweight 10-12 reps 3x (click here for an example)
  • Seated Overhead Press – Dumbbells 10-12 reps 3x (click here for an example)
  • Bent Over One Arm Row – Dumbbells 10-12 reps 3x each arm (click here for an example)
  • Plank 35 secs 3x

Abs/Core Workout Routine

I have a love/hate relationship with core/ab workouts because mine used to be really strong and I kinda took it for granted and let it fall to the wayside. I used to always skip my core days and just recently started embracing them. Core strength is important because it helps you with your balance in every other type of workout and your overall balance in general. I don’t have examples for these ones but they are all pretty well known in the fitness world.

  • 3 Jumping Jacks or any cardio just to get your heart rate up
  • Side Bend – Dumbbell 10-12 reps 3x
  • Ab Wheel 6 reps 3x:
  • Side Plank 30 secs 3x
  • Russian Twists 10-12 reps 3x
  • Planks 35 secs 3x

Listen, I barely incorporated the ab wheel because I found one in my dad’s workout area and figured what the hell, I’ll try it. I could only do 6 at a time and couldn’t even go all the way out.. The next day I was sore as all hell! I have never been THAT sore in my abdominal area from a workout. This has given something to work towards during this time and by the end of 2020 I want to be able to use it effortlessly. I’m also currently working on my lower body/glutes routine for the days I have to recover from my ab wheel like I did yesterday! I tell my friends all the time I have until mid-2021 to build a booty or I’m gonna buy one and I haven’t decided if I’m kidding yet.

If you are interested in my glutes and lower body routine once I figure it out, leave a comment below and let me know. I will put it on the blog if it’s something people actually want to see.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you want to participate in my next Q&A blog (or first one rather) write a question on my CuriousCat  or you can leave a comment with a question or any other feedback you’d like. Have a great day!

My First Color Run 5K Experience

At the end of last year I got this crazy idea to do twelve 5Ks in 2018 (one for each month of the year). It sounded like a good idea to have a way to keep me healthy and track my progress throughout the year. One of the 5Ks I’ve always wanted to run was The Color Run 5K. Not only would I be able to get covered in vibrant colors, I’d be able to get some fun cardio in and rewarded for my efforts with a unicorn medal. I was all for it and even got my best friend to agree to run it too (unicorns are one of her favorites). I was excited for my first ever Color Run and I couldn’t wait.

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The Day Before:

The week prior to The Color Run was a strange time in Vegas weather. It suddenly became even more cold and windy. This was something I had a hard time coming back to from my getaway to Florida the week before. I’m talking cloudy with a 100% chance of crazy winds and the next for more than a regular light jacket I was used to wearing. I had to pick up mu packet Friday after work and I felt that I was going to freeze to death in Container Park (okay, maybe not freeze to death but ya girl was cold!). I asked myself “what if it’s even colder at 8 in the morning? Do I really want to do this run this badly?” The answer was YES, of course! I need that unicorn medal and I had already paid for my packet. This Color Run was happening: rain, sleet, nor snow was going to stop me!

The Day of:

I should have known I was gonna be a struggle bus when I tried to apply the free tattoo they gave me in my packet and I forgot to take the plastic off before putting it on my skin and holding a wet paper towel on it. It stuck to the plastic and perfectly good golden lighting bolt tattoo was wasted. Oh well. Luckily for me the clouds were gone the next morning and it was somewhat warmer than the evening before. My best friend Dom picked me up at 7am and we were off to downtown Vegas for our race. We met Dom’s sorority sister Michelle and her friend in the parking lot and we went to put on the stuff we needed for the race (bibs, armbands/fanny packs for our phones, etc.). One problem, I had not realized the significance of the headband twisty thingy they had given us with our packets. It was obviously to keep me from getting colored powder in my mouth. Also, I couldn’t find my safety pins. Thankfully, Michelle had extra ones. We put on our bibs and headed to the start line.

The Color Run Starting Line

A picture at the starting line while I waited for the wave before us to go

We made it to the starting point and although it was warmer than the evening before it was still pretty cold. There was music playing so I started dancing to get warmed up because the thing I needed was to try and run with cold muscles. I was over the fact that I didn’t have the  bandanna for my mouth but I was kicking myself for not bringing it because I could have used it for my ears, they were cold as shit. I loved how everybody was dressed up in different costumes, tutus, and unicorn headbands. Me and Dom vowed we would go all out next year.

Finally, the countdown for us to start begins and we start jogging when they say “GO!” My nose was really stuffed from the day before and the wind messing with my allergies (damn playground duty at work) and from the cold. I couldn’t breathe through my nose so running was just a struggle.

My best friend and I got to the first color: PURPLE! The volunteers threw colored power at us from a squeegee bottle and we continued on to the rest of the race. As I mentioned I couldn’t breathe through my nose and had to stop often. I was determined to do my first mile in under 15 mins and I did…14:59 exactly hahaha.

One thing that caught me off guard about this run was that there wasn’t a water station until we got to mile 2. I felt really bad because I told my best friend she wouldn’t need to bring a water bottle because in my other 5Ks there was always a water station at mile 1 and mile 2. I don’t usually carry water bottles because I had have extra stuff to hold on to during my runs and I get a stomach cramp if I drink too much water. I will definitely bring a water pouch next year because ya girl did get thirsty before mile 2.

The Color Run 5K Finish Line

The Color Run 5K Finish Line

After about 45 mins my best friend and I finally reached the end tunnel before the finish line! To my surprise there will bubbles on the floor. We crossed the finish line, got our unicorn medals, and went to check out the tents while we waited for Michelle and her friend (they weren’t too far behind us).

I was not covered in colors from head to toe like I had thought I would be based on the instagram pictures I had seen but that is because they give everyone who crosses the finish a packet of color and you and your friends throw it on one another after your done. I thought this was a great way to keep up the fun of The Color Run after the race was over. We all through color all over each other, took our pictures and boomerangs, went to the area in front of the stage for a little bit, cleaned off, and went to brunch. We had a quite a fun morning.

All in all, I enjoyed my first Color Run even if it wasn’t what I was expecting. I have some tips for those who are thinking about doing it this year or next year and for myself:

  • If you get a packet, bring the bandanna thingy (even if you don’t think you’ll need it). It’s better to have something you don’t need then to need something you don’t have.
  • Bring a water pouch if you hate carrying water bottles. I’m not sure if each city is the same in water station set ups but I would have loved some water before I reached mile 2.
  • Get a phone that takes better pictures. Okay I know this sounds dumb but my best friend has the iPhone X and the pictures she took of the run and of us were amazing. Next year I want to be able to take some good pictures on my own!
  • Don’t focus on time and pace, focus of having FUN! The first mile I was worried about my time and even after I finished I was beating myself up about my time. What I didn’t realize was that The Color Run is not your typical 5K. You can’t run the whole way through if you want to be covered in the colors so just make sure you bring a buddy and have a good time!

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Now that I finished my first Color Run I have two 5Ks down, 10 more to go for 2018! What are some goals you’ve accomplished so far as February winds down? If you’re s runner, what has one of your favorite FUN race been? Let me know in the comments below!

My First Time Running A 5K

When I was in college one of the annual events my sorority would do was the Breast Cancer 5K walk/run and we always walked it as a group that would eventually spilt up into smaller groups due to different paces of we all walked. I always wanted to try to run it but I was never in good shape enough shape (so I thought) until maybe my last semester of college when the 5K had already passed. I also have a sorority sister who was runs 5K, 10K, Half Marathons, and everything else. Seeing her train for these and reach her goals inspired me even more and this year I added “run an entire 5K” to my bucketlist. 


My first 5K was pretty cool! The 5K I chose was the Sugar Rush. When I was picking a 5K to run in December (because the LSAT would have my attention until Dec 2nd) it was between this one and the Resolution 5K. Sugar Rush just happened to be really close to where I live and I was familiar with the location so I went with that one. I’m glad I did! While I didn’t run the whole thing (I definitely walked/jogged more than I ran), I never stopped moving and I can say that is a big step up for where I have been health and fitness wise throughout these past years. 


The Sugar Rush 5K was cute because some enthusiastic runners dressed up as different candy-themed costumes. Lowkey, they were #RunningGoals. I decided if I do this one next year I want to dress up too. The thing I loved about the pre-race and post-race is that everybody was in such a good mood. I mean I know exercise creates endorphins but still…I haven’t that many people happy all at once as far back as I can remember. I even made a new friend after the race. Eveybody was just there to handle their 5K and enjoy themselves.


I originally wanted to run with someone but I have this thing about not liking to run or hike in partners/groups when I’m out of shape. I hate feeling like people have to wait on me when I need a break. That being said, I ran it by myself. Running by myself was actually quite therapeutic. It allowed me to have me-time and engage with nature. One challenge of running by myself is I could have totally walked the whole thing if I wanted to and nobody would know. I’m a woman of integrity so I did run whenever I could but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted haha. The race was quite interesting because at each mile we were given a full-sized chocolate bar and water. I left with a Twix, Reeses, and collected my medal after crossing the finish line and being given chocolate covered pretzels, one mini-donut, a chewy bar, and a candy cane. I didn’t eat it all but instead saved some of it for my family. 


All and all, I’m happy I was able to do this 5K even if I didn’t run the entire thing. I now know that if I can do it without training, I will only get better as I train for next year. I have now made it a goal to run one 5k every month of 2018. I will be tracking my progress on instagram with my hashtag #MaraRunsMoreThanHerMouth so keep an eye out for my posts on there. 
What are some health + fitness goals you have for 2018? Let’s talk about em in the comments below! 

Why I Decided to Transition to a Mostly Plant-Based Diet

One thing most people don’t know about me is that I stopped eating meat (read: chicken, beef, pork, and other land animals) at the beginning of this year. My reason for this dietary modification was not because I watched a documentary on Netflix or because I’m an animal rights activist (no shade to those who are). My reason was that this lifestyle is what was best for my health and how I feel.


Back in 2016 I went to my doctor for a regular check-up. When I got my blood work back the doctor informed me that my cholesterol was too high and I needed to stop eating red meat temporarily. Girl, bye. Whatchu’ mean I can’t eat red meat anymore? Have you had carne asada or a realllly good burger? She said I had to in order to fix the problem while I’m still young. Long story short, I didn’t listen to her. Taco shop food was basically its own food group when I was in undergrad and carne asada and adobada were my favorites. I told myself I would only eat it every so often but that turned out to be…false. So all of 2016 passed me by and I was still eating red meat.


At the end of last year I decided that I should listen to my doctor and stop eating red meat. Becausew I’m an extremist and always have to do the most, I decided I might as well just stop eating meat all together! Luckily for me, this wasn’t a change I had never tried before. My junior year of high school I stopped eating meat for 6 months just to see if I could do it and I did! This time however I opted for the pescatarian route because if I was giving up carne asada…sushi had to stay.


However, as I’ve been on this pescatarian journey I’ve decided that at some point in my life I would like to make the transition to a more plant-based diet. Plant-based is defined as “a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products.” This is different from vegan because Vegans don’t eat meat at all and they also don’t use animal products in their lives at all. My main reason for wanting to transition to plant-based is because when I eat plant-based meals my body feels the best. I have more energy. When I still ate meat I would eat meals and feel groggy, gross, stuffed, sleepy, and overall shitty after I was done. I can’t remember the last time I felt like that. Overall, I feel healthier and more energized and less bloated.


I’m excited to see where this new lifestyle transition takes me. When it comes to your day to day diet and eating habits it’s best to know what works for your body. If you have always considered being a pescatarian, vegetarian, or plant-based leave a comment below! If you have any further questions about my lifestyle change e-mail me at themusingsofmara@gmail.com

Health + Fitness Tips: The Things That Helped Me Create Good Habits

Some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions revolve around working out and losing weight. Making losing weight as one of your resolutions is stressful because many times if the right foundation for these changes isn’t established then it makes it difficult to lose weight and discourages people from reaching their goals. When it comes to having a healthier life and losing weight, there is no magic pill or one size fits all method. People’s bodies and genetics are different. There are, however, very basic things we can change about our lives that will usually help us get closer to our health and fitness goals than if we didn’t adapt them at all. Without lifestyle changes and consistency, we will be doomed to repeat our past mistakes and end up right back where we started.

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Last year I lost almost 30 lbs before my graduation. I was so happy when I was shopping for dresses for my sorority formal and had discovered I went down a dress size. My confidence was high and it wasn’t just because I looked better but it was because I felt better. Since then, I have gained back a good chunk of the weight I lost. When I was in Ohio I noticed what had happened and was extremely saddened by my weight gain. “How could I let all of my hard word before graduation go to waste?” “What happened”, I asked myself. As I reflected on what I had done before graduation to lose weight I decided to make this post for me to refer back to whenever I fall of the wagon (which happens. Humans are not created without flaws). These are some of the things that personally helped me lose weight and feel good about myself and some of the things I was missing out on after I moved from San Diego.

Health + Fitness Journal: By keeping a Health + Fitness Journal, I was able to document my water intake, everything I was eating (clean food and junk food, no discrimination), my workouts or physical activities, and notes on that day. I think this helped me because I was able to notice patterns about my eating habits and make adjustments for the next day or week depending on how life went. I also feel shame if I write “didn’t workout today” too many days in a row. I would definitely recommend this for people like me who love to snack. Snacks don’t seem like a lot until you have to write them all down. It’s also a great way to notice if your body is hitting a plateau because you haven’t switched up your routines yet. This year I have two different Health + Fitness Journals that help me keep track of everything.

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Meal Prep with VARIETY: One thing I noticed throughout the years is that if my meal prep doesn’t have variety, I will NOT be able to stick to it no matter how hard I try. There are only so many days that I can eat fish, broccoli, and brown rice before I lose MY damn minds. I’m a self-named Foodie and if my food doesn’t have variety, that is a sure fire way for me to rather eat out of the house than eat what is in my little square container. What I did back then and do now is try to make 4 or 5 different yet cheap meals that have various flavors so that I don’t get tired of them and switch them up each day. Pinterest has made this even easier now that I am a pescatarian transitioning to more plant-based diet. I’ve mastered the art of $40 a week Trader Joe’s grocery shopping.

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A Workout I Love: This one is a very important one! It should be the first one but I already wrote the other two and I’m too lazy to copy and paste it as the first one. Judge me if you must. Anyways, nothing is more discouraging to your health + fitness journey than if you hate the workouts you have to do. It’s one thing if there is a workout you hate every so often like “Leg Day” or whatever but if you hate most of your workouts you’re going to have a bad time and eventually stop going to the gym and working out altogether. When I lost weight last year I was obsessed with the elliptical, Turbo Kickboxing, and Zumba classes. I could do those every day and never get tired of them. Once I realized I needed to switch it up I went to a Total Body Class that (implied by the name) put my entire body through the ringer. I hated the class during it but appreciated it once they changed the time and I couldn’t go anymore (I’m weird like that), haha. The point is, I had the workouts I looked forward to in mind when I was doing the ones I didn’t necessarily love. They also replaced the total body class with a hip-hop class so I was all for it.

Honorable Mention* Meal Replacement Shakes and Bars: These are a controversial topic but they worked for me and probably saved me from gaining back more weight than I did. I didn’t use them as the basis of my diet but I did like the have them for breakfast as opposed to warming up something from meal prep in the morning. This was a solution after one too many times of running out of the house and forgetting my oatmeal in the microwave and thus starving or having to get a bagel or some nonsense before going into the office, class, or work. They are very useful for people like me who don’t always feel like dealing with meals in the morning.

DRINK WATER: Period, point blank! I will not go into detail with this because it is the most obvious! Start with a smaller daily intake amount and keep increasing it until you’re drinking near a gallon a day. Not only will you not waste precious calories on sugar water but your skin will glow and you’ll feel better on the inside! 

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These are just some of the few things that helped me get on track last year and are helping me do the same this year. Another thing I noticed is I work better with a schedule of some sort when it comes to fitness. Once I had to cancel my gym membership and didn’t have set in stone classes to attend, I started to gain weight back. When I stop working out it’s easier to eat like trash because I don’t look at it as “undoing all my hard work in the gym” which is silly because everyone knows abs are made in the kitchen but that’s how my brain works sometimes. It’s just nonsensical. This time around I also have my Fitbit which helped me this summer when everybody was using it. I used to love having challenges with my friends. Besides my Fitbit, I am currently in an accountability group with some of my sorority sisters in different parts of the nation. We have weekly Google Hangouts to discuss our progress and daily check-ins. I think it’s working for me so far. Along with all of this I have my own personal fitsagram which documents my health and fitness journey. I’m barely starting to use it consistently though so I’ll let you know how it goes.

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At the end of the day, our Health and Fitness Journeys are our own. What works for me may not work for the next person but one thing ALL people who want to embark on this journey is  that they have to have the will and determination to do so. There are going to be rough times when you may fall off the fitness wagon for a few weeks or more but you can always choose to do better if you want it bad enough. Don’t wait for Mondays and New Year’s Day if you do fall off the wagon. Just get back on an keep on going. You’ll thank yourself later.

Do you have any health + fitness goals established? What are some tools you use to help you stay motivated? Talk about them in the comments!