The Final Countdown…

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Well….the last six months have been….a lot. I don’t really know any other way to put the roller coaster of emotions I have been riding lately. My life before Miss America seemed ridiculously busy and fulfilling, but promising. I knew exactly what my goals were and exactly what I intended to do with my life. Insert eight months of continuous travel, consistent self-doubt, numerous new connections and before long I was left feeling like I had no idea who I was, or worse, where I was going. I would like to say that these past few months have helped me figure those things out, but if i’m honest with myself (and you), the time I have spent traveling, moving and floundering in these last few months has only made it worse. Being Miss America is a wonderful experience. The “year of service” provides countless opportunities to network and grow, but it is also very, very challenging. I was as prepared for the job as I could have ever been and, yet, so many aspects of the day in and out caught me off guard. I know, for a fact, that the beginning of what has culminated in down-right depression, was during my journey through Miss New York and Miss America. It just goes to show that no matter what image someone portrays….you really never know what’s going on. Social media sure can play tricks on you, huh?

All of that to say…I’ve been uncharacteristically unhappy lately. So much so that I have begun to worry myself (and apparently my mother, who surprised me at LAX this last Friday night as I got my baggage from the carousel). I have severed relationships, friendships and emotional ties with people that I usually turn to. I’ve relied on food and (worse) alcohol to cope. And, I have found that I am more content to hibernate in my house than do anything productive or forward moving. I am emotionally, physically and spirutally unhealthy. In this process I have hurt people (over and over and over again) who care about me, I have ignored my personal well-being and….frankly, I am sick of it. 

SO! On to a new day. I hope. Regardless, I’m going to try. That has to count for something..right? I’ve decided that it’s time to get my act together on all accounts. I mean….we can’t move forward if we stay where we are.

Fitness:

I’ve decided to spend the next 60 days on a full-blown cleanse. In an attempt to regain my physical well-being, I will be sticking to an all Paleo diet and refraining from alcohol. Additionally, I am making a pact with myself to be active in the gym or otherwise at the very least 6 days a week (Lawd, help me).This aspect of my journey will, without a doubt, be the hardest. I. Can. Do. This. I will be looking for new recipes, posting food pictures, sharing workouts, etc. Feel free to leave me some new material!  

French: 

For Christmas (or my Birthday…I don’t know?) I received a French Rosetta Stone and I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT IT……that I haven’t started yet. SO!!! In addition to my physical, emotional and spirtual journey….I’m on a mission to speak French by the time I get to Paris in mid June. BOOM. Join me for a Rosetta lesson every day. Hey! At least i’m not making you pay. 😉 

Free Therapy:

That’s my blog. That’s the journey I’m on with God. Thats the book Artison Soul by Erwin McManus (if you want to follow along). That’s my twice a week experiences at church. That’s fashion, beauty and fun! That’s you guys! Read. Don’t read (Well..I hope you do). Share. Comment. Call. I don’t care! I’m just here to hold myself accountable, relay some fitness, cook some new recipes and share my volunteer experiences. I’m just trying to get to a happy place and right now, this is the way I know how. 

If anything, I just want the people who follow to know that even those who appear to “have it all” sometimes feel like they have lost control. I have been blessed with an amazing family and the most supportive friends, but that doesn’t mean I always have it together. HOWEVER, the version of me that has been present lately is NOT who I am and I refuse to let her be a part of the amazing life I am meant to lead. 

In counting down….the cleanse starts Wednesday. Who’s with me? 

 

<3,

M

 

P.S. My website is in development and I made this blog without the help of Claire Buffie. So……we’ll wait for her to make things cool. K. Thx. Bye. 😛

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16 thoughts on “The Final Countdown…

  1. Hi Mallory,
    I just wanted to say thank you. really – Reading this post (minus being M.A.) is like reading my own story with a slightly different scenery. I gained my weight freshman year in college and just can’t get it off (still in college which doesn’t help). I’ve severed friendships, I stay in my room more often than not, I rely on food to cope. etc etc. You named them all. I thought I had it all figured out and was becoming happy but then I was rejected from the one program that I wanted to pursue. So now I’ve lost sight of where my life is going and who I’m supposed to be.
    And I’m so tired of it – I’m tired of being unhappy.
    I’m going to try to stick with you on this one. I’m now hoping to go to France in the coming year, maybe for school, maybe for travel – not sure yet. but I would love to get myself back to learning again.
    I love lifting, so the gym wont be an issue but The 60 day cleanse is a scary thought. I think I’m going to try it.
    And I don’t remember the last time I had time to pick up a book – so the Artisan Soul is going to be the book to change that (:

    Thanks again.

    PS: I’m sure you will find amazing recipes, but I have a few that you may or may not like. But give them a shot (:
    the balsamic chicken, spaghetti squash, turkey muffins, and protein pancakes are of my top favorite.
    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    **Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Bar

    -4 scoops chocolate protein powder
    -2/3 cup flax seed meal
    -4 tbsp natural peanut butter
    -1/4 cup water
    -stevia or natural sweetener (optional)
    -2 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
    -1 cup of oats

    Directions
    -makes 4 servings

    -mix all ingredients in a large bowl and stir. At first it may not seem like it is enough water, but keep stirring and it will eventually become a sticky blob of dough. Add 1 tbsp of water at a time if needed.
    -divide mixture into 4 equal portions and place in separate pieces of plastic wrap placing them into bars. It’s easier to shape them by lying plastic wrap on one side of a small casserole dish, pressing the dough into the natural shape of the dish.
    -store the bars in fridge or freezer. Once solid, enjoy.

    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    **Chicken, Sweet potato hash

    Minutes to Prepare: 5
    Minutes to Cook: 15
    Number of Servings: 4

    Ingredients
    2 medium chicken breasts, no skin
    2 eggs
    1 medium sweet potato
    2 tbsp Olive oil
    (Optional) Salt, pepper, garlic powder

    Directions
    Defrost the chicken breast and cut into 1/2in cubes or however you want to cut it. Dice potato.

    Olive oil in the skillet, kick it on high to med-high heat. Toss in the chicken and cook until you feel it is almost fully cooked, then toss in the potato. A couple minutes should be good.

    Toss in the eggs and proceed to cook up the lot of it for a couple minutes, mixing it evenly to ensure the egg is cooked. While the eggs are cooking, add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste (or any seasoning you prefer).

    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    **Balsamic Chicken:

    Minutes to Prepare: 15
    Minutes to Cook: 10
    Number of Servings: 1

    Ingredients
    1 Chicken Breast ( cut in thin 2-inch strips)
    4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
    2 tsp freshly chopped garlic
    1 tsp Olive Oil
    Salt and Pepper to taste

    Directions
    *The maximum prep time for this dish goes in cutting the chicken breast and garlic.*

    1. Cut chicken breast in thin 2-inch strips
    2. Chop fresh garlic – about 2 tsp ( about 4-5 cloves of garlic)
    3. Heat oil in a pan and add garlic. Saute, till golden.
    4. Add chicken and stir well.
    5. Add Balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.
    6. Reduce the heat to medium and let the excess water evaporate.
    7. Keep stirring intermittently and make sure that all the water dries up and the chicken is well coated with Balsamic Vinegar.
    8. Serve hot with some brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

    P.S. Always use fresh garlic for this. It brings out the flavor more.

    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    **Protein Brownie

    Ingredients
    1 Scoop Protein Powder
    1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
    1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    1 Tablespoon baking soda
    1 tablespoon of wheat flour
    Water ( just enough to make a batter consistency)
    1 Pack Stevia (Splenda is O.K., too)

    Directions
    Combine Protein Powder, Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Water into a Microwave safe Coffee mug Mix ingredients thoroughly until a “brownie like batter consistency” is achieved.

    Next, add in Splenda, mixing it in evenly with the rest of the mixture. Once complete with mixing, insert Coffee mug into microwave.

    Cook on High for approximately one minute (Note: microwave powers may vary).

    Remove from microwave, and tip over mug onto a plate. You may have to use a fork to remove sides of the “brownie”

    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    **Turkey Muffins:

    Ground Turkey Extra Lean -2 lbs

    Eggbeaters – 1/2 cup or 4 egg whites
    Diced tomatoes – 1/2 cup
    Green/Red/Yellow Bell Peppers – 1.5 cup

    Minced Garlic – 3 cloves
    Ground Flaxseed – 6 tblsp
    Oatmeal – 1 cup

    Directions
    Mix all ingredients except the oatmeal.
    Add 1/2c of oatmeal at a time testing the consistency of the mixture after each mix in and stop when the mixture sticks to itself instead of your hands.
    Pre-heat oven to 400
    Spray 12 muffin pan liberally.
    Fill each cup with mixture
    Bake for 20 – 30 minutes (should be cooked thoroughly after the first 20 min, the rest depends on how “browned” you like your meatloaf)

    Makes 12 muffins

    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    ***Pumpkin Mug Cake
    Ingredients (Serves 1)
    1/4 cup peanut flour
    1/4 teaspoon sodium-free baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1/4 cup pumpkin puree
    1 egg white
    1 tablespoon applesauce
    1 tablespoon milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    5-7 drops liquid stevia or other preferred sweetener
    Instructions
    Combine all ingredients. Stir well.
    2. Coat a microwave-safe dish with coconut oil or cooking spray.
    3. Transfer batter to dish and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.

    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    ***Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
    Makes 4 pancakes.

    High Protein Pumpkin Pancakes, Ingredients:
    1 large egg
    2 egg whites (egg whites in a carton work fine too)
    1/2 cup or 40g of quick cook oats
    1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
    1/2 scoop unflavored or vanilla protein powder
    1/4 cup of 1% cottage cheese
    1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    3-5 packets of stevia

    Optional Ingredients:
    1 tbsp Walden farms calorie free pancake syrup
    1-2 tbsp ground flax seed

    High Protein Pumpkin Pancakes, Directions
    1) Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If you find the batter is too thick, you can add a few tablespoons of water or unsweetened almond milk.
    2) Meanwhile, heat a non-stick griddle or pan on medium heat and coat the pan with cooking spray (I prefer coconut oil).
    3) Pour the batter onto your griddle or pan to make 3-4 pancakes (you may not have room to make all the pancakes in one batch).
    4) Flip the pancakes when the edges are nicely browned and the top has a bit of bubbling. This should take 3-5 minutes.
    5) Cook the other side for an additional 2-4 minutes.

    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    **Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    Make 6 servings. Serving size is half a cup of chicken and half a cup of veggies

    Ingredients:

    For the chicken:
    24 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
    1 celery stalk
    1/2 onion, diced
    1 clove garlic
    16 oz fat free low sodium chicken broth
    1/2 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce (I used Frank’s)

    For the wraps:
    6 large lettuce leaves, Bibb or Iceberg
    1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
    2 large celery stalks, cut into 2 inch matchsticks

    Directions:

    In a crock pot, combine chicken, onions, celery stalk, garlic and broth (enough to cover your chicken, use water if the can of broth isn’t enough). Cover and cook on high 4 hours.

    Remove the chicken from pot, reserve 1/2 cup broth and discard the rest. Shred the chicken with two forks, return to the slow cooker with the 1/2 cup broth and the hot sauce and set to on high for an additional 30 minutes. Makes 3 cups chicken.

    To prepare lettuce cups, place 1/2 cup buffalo chicken in each leaf, top with 1/4 cup shredded carrots, celery and dressing of your choice. Wrap up and start eating!

    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    **Italian Turkey Meatballs

    Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 4 meatballs w sauce
    Calories: 229.7 • Fat: 4.9 g • Carbs: 21.1 g • Fiber: 2.8 g • Sugar: 0.1 g • Protein: 20.9

    Ingredients:
    20 oz (1.3 lb) ground turkey breast 99% lean
    1/4 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, grated
    1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
    1 egg
    1 large clove garlic, crushed
    1 tsp kosher salt + fresh pepper
    For the marinara sauce:

    2 tsp olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, smashed
    2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
    1/2 small onion, keep whole
    1 bay leaf
    1 tsp oregano
    1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
    salt and fresh pepper to taste

    Directions:

    In a medium size pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn. Add crushed tomatoes, onion, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer.

    In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic and cheese. Using your (clean) hands, mix all the ingredients well until everything is combined. Form small meatballs, about the size of a ping ping ball (1/8th cup each).

    Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook about 20 minutes.

    —————————————————————————————————————————–
    **Spaghetti Squash with Meat Ragu

    Servings: 8 • Size: 1 cup squash, scant 3/4 cup sauce •
    Calories: 175 • Fat: 3 g • Carb: 19 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 14 g • Sugar: 8 g
    Sodium: 263 mg (without the salt) • Cholesterol: 40 g

    Ingredients:

    8 cups cooked spaghetti squash (from 2 medium, about 6 lbs total)
    salt and fresh pepper, to taste

    For the Meat sauce:
    1 tsp butter
    1 tsp olive oil
    (4 oz) 1/2 onion, finely chopped
    1 carrot, peeled and chopped
    1 celery stalk, finely chopped
    1 lb 95% lean beef
    28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (I prefer Tuttorosso)
    1/4 cup white wine (yes, you can leave this out if you dont drink wine)
    1 bay leaf
    salt and fresh pepper, to taste

    
Directions:

    
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season with salt and bake about 1 hour, or longer if needed on a baking sheet, cut side up.

    
If you prefer the microwave, cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and fibers and place on a microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave 8-9 minutes or until soft.

    
In a large deep sauté pan, melt butter and add oil. Add onions, celery and carrots and sauté on medium-low for about 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Add the beef and season with salt. Brown the meat and cook, breaking it into smaller pieces with your spoon until cooked through. When cooked, add the tomatoes and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add wine and simmer until it reduces a bit, then add bay leaf and cover, reducing heat to low. Simmer at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

    
When spaghetti squash is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes. When cool, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands. Keep covered and set aside keeping warm until sauce is ready. Serve topped with meat sauce.

    1. Becca,

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you’re willing to work on life with me. I look forward to trying these recipes…I’ll be sure to post pictures when I do! 🙂 Here’s to 60 days! ((Water Cheers))

  2. Hey Mallory, this is amazing. Congratulations on naming your challenges and goals and getting back in the driver’s seat of your own happiness!!
    I know from instagram that you belong to Equinox and just wanted to recommend any class in Santa Monica that is taught by Elise Joan. She’s my bestie for 15 yrs, a former New Yorker, and truly her classes are as good for your brain and heart as they are for your body. Try one out on a day when you just need someone else to tell you what to do to get your workout in. 🙂 Tell her I sent you and she’ll take great care of you. GO GET IT, GIRL!!!
    Sarah (Miss ME a hundred years ago, old Miss Manhattan BOD, friends with Carbo and Kenny etc…) 🙂
    Www,elisejoanfitness.com

  3. Well written Mallory. Would love you to join you on this journey as I too am struggling in many of those areas. Love you!

  4. Mallory, you are such an inspiration! Even though you may not think so, you are just by recognizing that you have things you want to work on, as we ALL do. I have enjoyed following your journey as Miss A and your move from NY to CA. I’m almost vicariously living through you… 🙂 You have such wonderful things in store for your life and I can’t wait to see how it all comes together for you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and continuing to inspire!

  5. Thank you for sharing that with all of us Mallory. The hardest part when going through a difficult time is admitting the reality. And not only did you share it with your close friends and family but you opened up to all of us! Kudos to you! I’m looking forward to following your journey through this. Many people go through it you just happen to be someone that is being watched by the public eye which would make it more difficult in my opinion. We look forward to reading your journey and going through the ups and downs with you!
    btw: I suggest you read one of my favorite books ‘ the four agreements’ by Miguel Angel Ruiz. Awesome book that helped me through some of my times!

  6. When I was your age, I did nothing with my college major, hated my job, was approaching $25k in debt because I didn’t make enough money to live, and coped by drinking alcohol and doing copious amounts of drugs. I had achieved nothing. You Mallory, have traveled the world, been Miss America, met celebrities, seen Africa, met Beyoncé, not to mention lived in NYC and LA. You are beautiful, smart, grounded, and gifted. Don’t be so hard on yourself. This is a resting period. Its okay to rest. God gives us quiet times for recovery and reflection. I hope you use this plateau to recharge and find yourself. Its all part of the master plan.

    1. ❤ Thanks, Jenni. I know I have done so much…thats what fuels the pressure and world of unknown. I'm getting control over it, though. Love you and tell the girls I say hi!

  7. Mal…You are AMAZING! I have watched your journey from a distance and can relate, in my own way, to what you are going through! I am a former MAO girl…though I never made it to the big stage. I truly believe Jenni is corect…it is just a resting period. We all go through them. Remember that GOD has a plan for you and will guide you accordingly. We definitely have to do our part but sometimes the resting is for a reason! 🙂 I am currently in LA and would love to connect with you sometime if you need another friend to encourage you in your journey! Bess of luck!

  8. Hi Mal,

    Let me start by saying I adored you as Miss America for numerous reasons. Number one because you helped me to believe in myself by breaking the “skinny girl” Miss A prototype. I’ve struggled with my body image from the first time I was bullied in middle school. I love that you embraced real curves! After all, who wants to be a size 00 anyway? Also, how genuine and real you were/are, speaks for itself. As a recent college graduate, I find myself struggling with many of the same things you mentioned, and I’m ready to journey with you! I’ve competed for Miss Pennsylvania five times, never to make Top Ten, when I was much more successful in Miss PA Outstanding Teen. It’s difficult to not measure our worth when pageants aren’t the typical “goals” of everyday people. Sometimes I question where I’m going or what my purpose is. As I head back to Miss PA this year, I’m determined to have a healthier mind and body. Thank you for the much needed inspiration because it’s nice to hear that we all have to put on a face sometimes. You’re the best, and though we’ve never met, I appreciate ALL your support and encouragement!

    Erica
    xoxo

    P.S. I started hot power yoga in February, and it has been truly a blessing. Mentally, I feel like I’m in such a better place. Just a thought! It’s a nice change from the gym day in and day out.

  9. About 5 years ago I felt I was mindlessly journeying through life. My marriage had failed, I was miserable with my job, my family lived I hours away, and I like you had pushed every soul away. I did the unthinkable and attempted to take my life. Thank God it didn’t work. As I was forced to reflect on my issues I discovered (or my therapist discovered for me) that I had lost site of myself. I was too busy believing what others told me was happiness instead of discovering happiness for myself. From that point I decided to live my life according to my version of happiness aka being true to myself. How freeing my life became from that point on. I stopped hiding from myself and began to start making decisions based on how I felt, what I wanted. I realized no one else lives my life but me, so dammit it’ll be by my happiness that I live it by! There will still be days that are tremendously hard but those are the days that make the good days so good. Meditation is key for me. That’s the most honest you can ever be with yourself. I drive with the radio off now. I run with no music. I sit in quiet and allow myself to deal. We have to deal. Inner reflection is essential to a healthy mind, body, and soul. You are a strong woman, the realization you have come to some people never are able to receive. I will follow your journey and I will write you in your hard times. I believe there is something different about you. Your honesty is more than valuable and you will go far in life because of it.

    Good luck Mallory.
    Elisha

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