Success Story: Maria Gonzalez

My name is Maria Gonzalez. I am a food addict. I will always be a food addict. In April 2013, at 232 pounds, my weight loss journey began. While I was walking my daughters to school, my shoestring became untied and I attempted to bend down to tie my shoe, but I couldn’t. Embarrased, I asked my eldest daughter if she could tie my shoe. The vision of her on her knees tying my shoes moved me to do something about my health. 

At the same time, my 22 year old nephew was diagnosed with Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, meaning he was in renal failure. He was on dialysis twice a week and would need a transplant. I decided  to get tested. My weight was down to 200 pounds; I was having success with Noom! And I was a match! In August 2013 I weighed in at 170. I received a call from my nephew’s transplant coordinator asking if I were interested in being his donor. Interested!  To be able to save his life…yes! My answer was yes. Our surgery was on November 19th, 2013 and I weighed in at 154. The surgery was a success in more ways than one. He’s doing great and I am now 150 lbs. Without Noom I would have never qualified to be his donor.My kidney may have saved his life, but he has saved mine in return. 

Guest Post: Tangy Dough Boy Smoothie (Kath Eats)


For TWO Dough Boy Smoothies

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (I had to mix in a little Scottish because we were out of rolled and that seemed to work fine)

  • 2/3 cup milk

  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt ( <—the tang!)

  • 2 smallish ripe bananas

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1tsp cinnamon

  • Pinch salt

  • Plus 1/2 cup milk for AM

Mix together in blender (just with a spoon). Put in fridge overnight. In AM, add 1/2 cup milk and blend away!

Topped with the amazing Lynda’s Granola and Flying Squirrel PB – Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed!


Success Story: Ben Castillo


Q: What inspired you to start losing weight?

A: There was a point where I almost reached 198 pounds (90 kilos). My overall health was also pretty bad, and that’s where I knew I had to make a change. So I started.

Q: What has been the most difficult part of the process?

A: First, the negative people. There was (and there still are) people who said I would fail, and some others who tried to discourage me. Second, the change; the new healthy food, working out, the general change was very tough at the beginning. And third, the process; I had to study and learn a lot about nutrition, medicine and other fields in order to do things right.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of the process?

A: Inspiring others. When other people who first did not believe in you start to see you changing (in and out), they get motivated and ask you for help, and there is no greater joy for me than helping others.

Q: What’s your #1 piece of advice for losing weight?

A: Stay focused, and stick to your goals. Things are gonna be tough, but if you stay strong and on, you will get there, there is no doubt. 



Guest Post: Choosing Your First Race (Danica Newon - Chic Runner)

Setting a new goal is exciting - it can be just what you need to stay motivated. At the same time, new goals can be overwhelming and scary. If you select a race as your next goal, deciding on what race to run can be another daunting task. How do you choose a race that you will be motivated to train for in the upcoming months and that you will enjoy running? Here are a few things to take into consideration that will hopefully help make your decision easier! 

First off, find a race for which you have enough time to train. Don’t just pick a marathon that’s taking place the following weekend. Training for a race is important because it gives your body time to adjust to running more miles, helps prevent injuries and allows you to have the best race possible. Start by figuring out what your current weekly mileage is. If you’ve never run before - start by looking at a 5K! A great option to look into is the Couch to 5K training program that you can find online.

If you’re already running 3-10 miles weekly, a 10K would be a great place to start! If you want to challenge yourself and go for a half or full marathon, make sure you leave enough time to
train properly and build up your mileage. Check your schedule – signing up for one of these means you will be dedicating much of your time to train for the race. Don’t over extend yourself; that’s the fastest way to get injured. Figure out what is best for you and take the plunge.

 If all that mileage seems daunting, grab a friend! Training is always more fun with a running buddy. You can check out your local running club to find someone to train with, or ask your friends if they’d be interested in running the event you picked as well.

There are a few other things to take into account when selecting a race: location and weather. Weather and location can go hand-in-hand: look up what the weather has been like around the time of the time in previous years to figure out the general climate. Other aspects of the location include elevation, race size, crowd support, and accessibility. It being scenic doesn’t hurt, either!
Lastly, though it may not be the first thing you think about when choosing a race, you should always consider the cost. Races are variety of prices, depending on location, what’s included with your race fees, distance and even sponsors. This is something to take into consideration along with your travel costs.

Once you’ve taken all this into account, go register! Many race fees increase as the event nears, so register earlier rather than later. Don’t wait until the last minute or the race might be sold out. Mark it on your calendar and make a countdown to race day!

See more from Danica on all her running adventures on her blog, Chic Runner!


Ingredient Focus: Pomegranate Seeds


Originating from Iran, pomegranates are now cultivated globally. It has become more common in North American markets in the last decade due to its delicious, crispy seeds. They are in-season September to January, and can be sold whole or with seeds scooped out separately.


These little seeds are great for your heart. They aid in lowering cholesterol and can help melt away heart blockage. Additionally, they are chock-full of Vitamin C and fiber, keeping you healthy and sustaining fullness for longer, which can prevent overeating.


Pomegranate seeds are generally consumed raw. Sprinkle them atop a salad or bowl of yogurt, or toss them in a smoothie. They’ll add a pop of sweet, citrus-y flavor with a satisfying crunch!


Ingredient Focus: Cauliflower


Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that stems from the same family as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and collard greens. It was first introduced to France in the early 16th century, but is now a common household food. It comes in a variety of colors including white, green, and purple.


Cauliflower packs a serious nutritional punch. It is low-calorie (but nutrient-dense) at just 30 calories per cup. It is rich in Vitamin C, which boosts your immune system, as well as folate,  which is particularly vital to pregnant women. It’s good for your brain too - cauliflower contains lots of choline, which boosts brain activity and memory. Because of its high fiber content, it also helps maintain healthy digestion.


Cauliflower is a great carb substitute in a multitude of ways. You can use it as a rice substitute by throwing chopped cauliflower in a food processor and sautéing or baking it. Many people use it as a healthier pizza crust. Or, you can simply chop it up, toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast it for 20 minutes. Healthy and delicious!


Guest Post: Watermelon Mint Smoothie (Urban Fitopia)

Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. It takes quite a bit of H2O to stay hydrated throughout the year, but it becomes even more important during the summer months. Here are 3 of my favorite hydrating smoothies. Sip on one of these each day for a fun, tasty way to rehydrate!

Watermelon Mint Smoothie Ingredients

  • 2 persian cucumbers
  • 1 1/2 cups watermelon
  • 6 sprigs mint - destemmed
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
Watermelon is a whopping 91% water by weight. Paired with the refreshing mint and the cooling cucumber, this smoothie will leave you feeling rejuvenated even during the hottest heat wave. 
Check out more from Jenna on her blog, Urban Fitopia!

Guest Post: Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Bites (Kath Eats)

Ingredients (makes 12 bites)

  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375*
  2. Beat eggs and add all other ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together.
  3. Grease a mini muffin tin well and pour batter in to the brim.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Allow to cool COMPLETELY before removing or your oatmeal might stick. Use a knife to cut along the edges and twist to remove.

Easy, healthy, delicious - what more could you want from a dessert? Check out more of Kath’s healthy recipes on her blog, katheats.com.


What if Noom knew what you were going to log before you logged it? Well now it does.

With the release of our latest version, we’re rolling out a new technology called Food Oracle. In a nutshell, Food Oracle (patent-pending) understands what items are typically logged together and suggests the most relevant items for you, so you don’t have to bother searching for the right foods.

For example, after logging the first item in your meal — say, cereal — Noom will list items you’re likely to log next — like milk, coffee, or fruit. The best thing about Food Oracle is that it combines knowledge about the entire community with knowledge specific to you.

So the first time you log an item, you’ll see suggestions based on what most other people eat with that food. But the second time you eat it, Noom will suggest foods that you’ve personally eaten with it before. The more you Noom, the smarter Food Oracle becomes.

Here’s that technology in action:

Food Oracle also factors in the time of day, suggesting items that are often logged together during that meal, as well as the country you live in.

But does this cool technology really improve the Noom experience?

YES! According to our data, using Food Oracle cuts meal logging time in half. Plus, after a month of use, Food Oracle’s ability to accurately predict your food choices increases by 88 percent.

Also in this launch:

Speaking of logging speed — Food Oracle isn’t all we’re rolling out this week. We’re also delighted to announce another new feature: Custom Dishes.

When you’re losing weight, it’s important to eat as much healthy, home-cooked food as possible. But we know that not every recipe is going to be available in our food database. That’s why we’ve implemented Custom Dishes. Custom Dishes allow you to log all the ingredients in your recipe once, and save it for future use.

Best of all, you don’t have to do any math! When you log your custom dish, you can log as many servings as you want. So if you’re recipe makes 12 portions, simply log all the ingredients and tell Noom. We’ll handle the long-division.

Not a chef? No worries! If you’ve got iOS 7, you’ll now be able to search Noom’s packaged food database by barcode. Scan your yogurt using the built in scanner, select the portion, and finish your logging in a flash. For now, this feature only works with our English food database, but we’re working to roll it out to other languages in the near future.


Ingredient Focus: Bell Peppers


Bell pepper is a milder member of the chili pepper family. The peppers come in a wide variety of bright colors that also vary in sweetness. They are available year-round, but are most bountiful during the summer and fall.


When a fruit is as colorful as these peppers, it’s a good guess that they’re full of Vitamin C. Red bell peppers have the highest concentration of Vitamin C, which fortifies the immune system. They are also rich in carotenoids like beta-carotene, which is full of antioxidants.


Bell peppers retain most of their flavor and nutrients after light cooking; served them roasted, grilled, or even raw for a sweet, tangy flavor. They are also very low in calorie density, at only 24 calories per medium-sized pepper, so don’t be afraid to serve ‘em up alongside some protein and other veggies!