Healthy Living

Gut Health Matters. Poop better, live happier & feel your MF best.

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I was super into the arts and humanitarians in high school.

English. History. Psych. It was my jam.

But science? Anything math related? It was just NOT my jam. Except for Biology.

I was so fascinated by the ways our bodies worked and I related to it because it felt applicable to me — ya know, ‘cause I have a body.


So when I started learning more about nutrition in my journey to becoming a health coach, I became FASCINATED by the gut.

Gut health has become a super trendy topic as of late — you know, all those fancy yogurts and kombucha supporting that gut health all the wayyyy. Right?

But supporting our gut health is SO MUCH MORE than having a kombucha every day…(which for the record, I don’t recommend). And having a healthy gut is KEY to having a healthy body…and here’s why…

The gut is largely responsible for putting our body into working order.

As our food gets broken down, the microbiome (aka the bacteria in our gut) absorb the nutrients from the food which, in turn, supports things like hormone balance, mental health, healthy waste elimination (aka GOOD POOPS) & even skin health.


The craziest thing that totally blew my mind?

The gut and the brain are directly connected.

Which, in turn, means the food you’re ingesting and being absorbed by the gut impact your mental health/anxiety in profound ways.


How do you know if your gut needs some extra love? Here are some symptoms you may be experiencing…

  • Anxiety - Around 80% of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that impacts mood, sleep, social behavior etc is produced in the gut. So when the gut isn’t healthy, you’re getting less serotonin, which can negatively impact your mood.

  • IBS/ bowel movement issues — these have been directly linked to an imbalance of the microbiome

  • Exhaustion/Brain fog - this is also linked to lack of seratonin, as having lower levels of it can cause insomnia or trouble sleeping

  • Acne or skin issues — the main cause for acne/rashes is an imbalance in the gut

  • Cravings — if there’s an overgrowth of yeast in the system, you can crave more sugar


If you’re like AHHHHH I HAVE ALL OF THESE or even SOME of these, then GIRLFRIEND, you can do something about it right fucking now.


The microbiome in our gut can be reset in as little as 3 days. Isn’t that incredible? Which means with some mindful practices, we can take agency over our health, mind body and soul.


BEST WAYS TO SUPPORT GUT HEALTH


QUICK RESET & GUT OVERHAUL

I’m not a proponent for quick fixes in life. Especially when it comes to our health. But sometimes, our body needs a reset to be able to give us a healthy base to launch into new shifts.

And that’s why I love the 3 day refresh. A 3 day plant based gut detox which focuses on eating real foods & supporting your gut health through supplements.

I’ve rocked this particular program three times now (about once per year) and every time I do it, I’m astounded by my results. And this time was no exception.

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I weighed myself out of sheer curiosity and I’m down 7.6 lbs (my husband who also rocked it alongside with me this time was down 7 lbs) and we both have maintained that loss a week later.

I’m feeling SO energized and refreshed in a way I haven’t felt in months — YASS GUT HEALTH.

WINS?

  • bloating GONE

  • slept better than I have in months 

  • feeling so lean 

  • brain alert and focused 

  • poops are on point

  • eczema cleared up

SPEEDBUMPS

  • felt a little hungry the last night of the 3 days but tea helped 

  • my energy was lower overall through the 3 days but it’s back tenfold  

I am so glad I dove into this even when I felt like I didn’t “have the time” for it. And I’m so proud of my LYFYL wellness community for rocking it out too, especially my 2 gals who did it while traveling for work. MF ROCKSTARS and proof that you CAN put yourself first no matter what season of life you’re in. And if you’re looking for a quick way to shift your body’s composition, this is 100% what I would recommend.


EAT MORE VEGETABLES

Big ol’ duh, I know. But seriously, gut check yourself (ha, see what I did there?) and check in with how many vegetables a day you’re actually getting in. They are the best way to add more healthy nutrients in your day to support gut health.

EAT HIGH FIBER FOODS

Fiber doesn’t get digested in the body until it gets to the gut (which stimulates bacteria growth!) so it’s the healthiest thing you can ingest. Some of my favorite high fiber foods include: raspberries, broccoli, chickpeas, artichokes, lentils.

TAKE A PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT

This can be a bit tricky because many probiotics on the market are actually not beneficial to your gut health at all because the casing they’re encapsulated in aren’t made to withstand the acidity in the stomach and break down before they even make it to the intestines (which is where they are needed to do their job!). I take my probiotic in form of powder in my daily smoothie because I know it has the correct casing (shoot me a message if you want more info!) so whatever you do, just be sure to do your research on which ones you can snag that will actually do the job intended!

And there you have it! GUT HEALTH FOR THE WIN.

Do you have any symptoms listed above? What has been your biggest struggle with gut health?

Let me know in the comments!

Xo Amanda

Why I don't believe in "falling off the wagon" and why health isn't all about getting banging ass results

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I failed.

Or at least by all standards of the fitness industry, I failed.

The past 7 weeks, I've been rocking my latest fitness adventure -- a strength training and HIIT program. I've been working out 4 days a week, rocking my rest days like nobody's business and continuing to adopt my food freedom program principles.

You'd THINK that I would have seen these INSANE results -- AB CHECK HERE, am I right? 

We're all programmed to believe that we will dive into a fitness program and that by the end of it, we're going to be RIPPED. That we're going to shed the weight, get that six pack we've always dreamed of and we'll finally be able to zip up those jeans from high school we've been holding in the back of our closet for 10 years...

I know I used to believe that with every fibre of my being. 

And when I didn't see results right away, I sabotaged myself and deep dove into my binge eating spiral and would put on 10-20 lbs in a month.

That cycle plagued me for YEARS, until I changed up my fitness regime. Started rocking programs that actually worked and gave me long lasting results.

And all of a sudden, I actually FELT HAPPY. Not just because I lost a few dress sizes, but because I FELT STRONG. I felt active and alive and energized in a way I hadn't in years.

And for the past 3 years, I've continued to feel that way. Trying out new programs, feeling like a MF athlete and badass...until this program.

'Cause you see...I've been rocking this strength training program and as I head into my final week of it, I've seen no weight loss or physical external shifts. In fact, the physical shifts I have seen have been me feeling fluffy and bloated.

And you know I'm always going to keep it REAL AF with you babes, and my truth right now is that I've spent the last couple of weeks feeling like a total and utter FAILURE. Because your girl is as health coach, right? So if I can't walk the walk, how am I supposed to inspire and empower my clients and future clients to do so as well...right?

WRONG.

While you may not see any badass results from this, what you also don't see is everything else I've been navigating this summer. 

The past couple of months, I’ve been dealing with some intense shifts hormonally that have caused my body to feel out of whack.

2 months ago, I transitioned off of birth control pills to the copper IUD. I originally did so in April but my body literally rejected the IUD and I had to get it removed and a new one inserted (which, let me tell ya, is NO FUN). Luckily, the IUD stuck this time around, but my body has responded SUPER differently to this one. The first time around in April, I had no bleeding and no seemingly different experiences beyond my shifts in mood depending on where I was at in my cycle.

But this time, my bleeding has been incredibly different — I bled right after the initial insertion more than I ever have in my entire life. And since early July, I’ve had continued intermittent spotting and periods every other week.  

And the past few weeks, my body has been intermittently bloated AF in ways I’ve never experienced before (for all you gals who have dealt with this for years I FINALLY UNDERSTAND) and it’s been super uncomfortable.

I look in the mirror and that voice in the back of my head that tells me I'm not good enough, and I should just eat an entire box of donuts has been getting louder and louder...all because my BODY doesn't look the way I EXPECTED it to or the way SOCIETY TELLS ME IT SHOULD after finishing a workout program? 

I call bullshit.

I mean, I am ALL about celebrating different shapes and sizes and finding STRENGTH from the inside out, not about looking a certain way — and this gal? THIS IS ME TODAY.

The bright, energetic, sensitive, silly, playful, dedicated, focused, harry potter obsessed dog mama multi-passionate entrepreneur goofball who also happens to be bloated right now.

And she is JUST as worthy bloated as she is when she’s not. 

She's just as worthy when she's kicking ass with her workout program or moving slower and working out less.

She's just as worthy when she's eating a delicious pot of zoodles than when she's eating a MF cookie.

Our health and fitness journeys ARE FAR FROM LINEAR. Nor should they be.

And to expect our lives to constantly be moving that direction is unrealistic. Shit happens. We travel. We go into a crazy busy period at work. A loved one dies. We plan weddings. We enter new relationships that turn our worlds upside down. 

We accept that these things are part of life and that it's OK, but we have such a tough time acknowledging that it's also okay to have a fluctuating body?

LET'S GIVE OURSELVES SOME MOTHER FUCKING GRACE ALREADY and RID OURSELVES OF THE "FALLING OFF THE WAGON" BS WE'VE BEEN SPEWING TO OURSELVES FOR YEARS.

You are worthy just as you are right now my love.

And no matter where that is, all you can do is show up with grace, kindness and do the shit that makes you FEEL ALIVE and ENERGIZED AF.

Xo Your no BS soul sistah,

Amanda 

Why I decided to go off the birth control pill after 12 years

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I know this is gonna ruffle a million and one feathers but you know your girl is gonna give it to you straight and this has been a huge part of my wellness journey 

This time last year, I remember sitting in a coffee shop with my friend Jen talking all about the birth control pill. She had decided to go off of it 6 months prior and was sharing her experience with me and it got me thinking ... "why have I been on the pill for so goddamn long?"

I mean OBVIOUSLY to not have a baby.

But the reason I went on the pill in the first place? I was 15 years old and my doctor misdiagnosed me with PCOS and said "here, just take the pill. It'll help your symptoms."

And she was right, it did. And I didn't question it (and hadn't questioned it until recently).


But that conversation got me thinking about how I've been putting synthetic hormones into my body for 12 years of my life without question ('cause ya know, everyone is on the pill, right?) and that I hadn't even thought to question it. 

And the past year, I've been going back and forth about it and out of fear of what would come of change, I never decided to make any shifts...until now. After all of the medical stuff going on with me and the incredible conversation I had with Claire Baker on episode 7 of the podcast and speaking with my doctor, I decided to officially go off of the pill. 

Now I want to preface this by saying this is in NO WAY a "you need to go off the pill" post. YOU are the only person that can make choices for YOUR body (and girlfriend, you 100% know what's best for YOU and where you're at in life), but I've been getting a billion questions about why I made this decision and what I'm doing now for preventative measures. 

So here is MY story based off of my personal findings, speaking with my trusted hormone experts, my doctor and MY BODY.


WHY I DECIDED TO GO OFF THE PILL

1. I'm hella health conscious (obviously). And after getting hella into nutrition, the body and how everything works, I realized how VITAL the health of a woman's' endocrine system (aka the collection of glands and organs that produce hormones) is for overall health. And I have been working so hard on implementing habits in my nutrition and day to day life to support this, but not my birth control method? My girl Jess over at Wholly Healed shares ALL about the negative side effects of going on the pill, so if you wanna learn more definitely check her out. 

2. When I found out I was BRCA 1 positive earlier this year, I was hell bent on doing everything in my power to arm myself with everything I could to prevent myself from getting breast or ovarian cancer. And I knew that certain pills have been associated with raising risks of getting breast cancer and I was NOT fucking around with that.

*what I didn't know? Being on certain BC pills like the one I was on (ortho trinessa or ortho tricyclen low) for upwards of 5 years can actually REDUCE your likelihood of developing ovarian cancer so that was a major WIN for me and my doctor. 

3. My gynaecologist recommended I make the switch. While I was pretty convinced through my own personal readings and speaking with hormone health experts, I also wanted to hear the input from my doctor and she gave me the green light immediately. 

 

OK SO I WANNA GO OFF THE PILL, BUT I DON'T WANT BABIES!! HALP!!!

I hear ya. Kev and I are NOT ready for babies anytime soon, so when we were looking for another option, we knew we still needed to have a form of birth control going .

Here are other some options other than the pill to consider:

Paraguard IUD  - this is the option I opted with for a few reasons.  

  • It's over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, making it one of the most effective forms of birth control available. This is hugely important to us because if and when we do decide to have kids, we have committed to going through the IVF process so we can screen the embryos for the BRCA gene. 
  • It is hormone FREE. So your body goes through the ovulation process as it naturally would but the Copper IUD disrupts sperm motility and damages sperm so they can't join with an egg. Fun fact that I didn't know? Copper actually acts as a spermicide within the uterus, increasing levels of copper ions, prostaglandins, and white blood cells within the uterine and tubal fluids. Fun science facts for ya! 
  • It is good for up to 10 years and can be removed at any time.

Condoms - also a great option! 

Withdrawl...not so fun but if you're in a relationship or sex isn't on the table, there ya go! 

Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) -- if you want to learn more about this, I highly recommend the book Taking Control of Your Fertility 

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW ABOUT YOUR DECISION?

So far, I am OVER THE MOON about it.

I stopped taking the pill and transitioned to the Paraguard 2 weeks ago, so I've yet to experience a full cycle (and have yet to see if my period is going to return right away -- I know quite a few women who waited a year for their period to return) so I will definitely do a follow up post in a few months but so far, it's been great.

The process of inserting the IUD? It sucked. Majorly. And I experienced pretty awful cramping the rest of the day. The heating pad, aleve, netflix and my pup Toby were my best friends that day -- so DEFINITELY do not go into work after you get it inserted. SERIOUSLY. 

But less than 24 hours later later and after a nights sleep, I felt good as new.

I've been following the My Flo app to track my cycle and so far it's been pretty on track! No spotting, weird cramping or anything like that.

And just knowing that I've taken action about this has taken a huge weight off of my chest.

 

So there ya have it!

As always, you know I'm an open book so if you have any questions, pop 'em in the comments below! 

And I'm curious -- what form of birth control do you use? 

Xo Cheers to living our f*ck yes lives,

Amanda

Quinoa Buddha Bowl

BUDDHA BUDDHA BUDDHA BUDDHA ROCKING EVERYWHERE.

Literally freaking obsessed with buddha bowls lately & getting ALL da veggies in in sneaky ways and this one takes the cake. 

It's been a while since I've shared a recipe ('cause you know yo girl is pretty much always eating the same shit -- what can I say, when I find something I love, I eat it until I get sick of it! haha) Ya feel me?

Happy eating, my loves! 

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QUINOA BUDDHA BOWL

4 servings 

 

INGREDIENTS

Quinoa, 1 cup 

Brussel sprouts, 2 cups 

Sweet potato, 1 cup

Chicken breasts, 2 

Avocado

Romaine lettuce

Red onion, chopped

Avocado oil

Sea salt

 

Vinaigrette

Olive oil

Dijon Mustard

Apple cider vinegar 

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Pre bake brussels, sweet potatoes and chicken at 375 F. (I like to sautee the brussels and sweet pots in avocado oil and sea salt and roast brussels for 12-15 mins and sweet pots for 20-25 mins. As for the chicken, marinade with

2. Also pre cook quinoa on stove. Put 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa in a pot on high. Once water is boiling, reduce to low and cover until cooked (approx 7-10 mins)

3. Once all your ingredients are ready to rock, you can throw your buddha bowl together STAT! 

4. Toss in 1/4 cup of quinoa, chopped romaine lettuce, 1/4 cup sweet potato, 1/2 chicken breast, chopped red onion, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 cup brussel sprouts. 

5. Add in vinaigrette (4 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard

 

ENJOY MA BABES!!!

Xo Amanda 

20 things you should start doing so you won't regret your twenties

My twenties so far have been anything but seamless, and I'm betting you can relate.

And for so many years, I just chalked it up to what everyone and their mother said: 

"your twenties are your crazy years, everything changes at thirty."

And so for the first 5 years of my twenties, you better believe I lived up to that ('cause I was given hella permission to do so) -- you know the pattern...get up, go to work for jobs that suck the life out of you, say yes to all the parties/events because you're afraid you'll be missing out if you don't, spend so much time trying to look like some magazine's definition of what an "ideal woman" should look like, which of course leds us to years of binging and over exercising until our inevitable quarter life crisis break down ensues...

Or at least, that was my story.

Can you relate?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about spending your twenties to figure out who you are and what you want (and along the way, you can bet it's gonna be messy AF), but why do we have to hit rock bottom for us to wake the fuck up and make a change?

What if we could equip ourselves with tools that allowed us to do the inner work, the REAL work, so that come our thirties, we had already started to put into place some intentional habits that were in line with how we wanted to feel & show up in the world. 

Habits that are deeply rooted in our VALUES. 

My hope is that by sharing what I wish I had known, you can avoid having your own burnout broken quarter life crisis that takes years of work to undo. 

Here we go.

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20 THINGS YOU SHOULD START DOING SO YOU WON'T REGRET YOUR TWENTIES

1. Wake up early. If this gal can become a morning person, so can you. 

2. Get into a regular exercise routine. You don't need to go crazy at the gym or kill yourself at a spin class on the regular, but 30 minutes of moving your body a day is so important for your health. 

3. Cut out processed foods (FO REAL YO) and focus on simple REAL foods. Check out my FREE BUSY BABES GUIDE TO HEALTHY LIVING e-book to learn how to get started!

4. Have the courage to say YES to the things that excite you.

5. Have the courage to say NO to the things that aren’t aligned with your values.

6. Explore and discover what your true values ARE (don't know where to start? Check out this post

7. Say buh bye to the friendships that don’t serve you — you know who they are. 

8. Read books — here’s a great place to get started!

9. Take yourself on soul dates.

10. Tell the truth and expect it in return.

11. Break free from the typical “adulting” day to day life and add more freaking PLAY into your day. 

12. Create a budget and start putting a little money aside into a savings fund NOW. 

13. Trade in blackout party nights for a glass of wine or kombucha with a gal pal and inspiring and goofy conversations 

14. Create self care rituals that you do on a daily or weekly basis. Some of my faves? Check 'em out here. 

15. TRAVEL more -- it doesn't have to be to faraway exotic cultures (although those are awesome too), but even a simple road trip 2 hours away for a weekend in the woods can do your soul some GOOD. 

16. Do something that scares you every single day. Apply to that dream job. Ask the guy out. Try that move in yoga. It won't only get you one step closer to the life you want, but your confidence will grow in the process too -- double win!

17. Get in touch with your body and your womanhood. For more information, listen to episode 7 of the podcast with Claire Baker.  

18. Start administering self breast exams. But FOR REAL. 1 out of 8 women will develop breast cancer over their life time. 1 out of 8! This is clearly on the front of mind for me right now but I was always told by my doctors to rock out self exams on my own and never did because I always thought "that won't happen to me".   

19. Start journaling. Whether it's through journal prompts or using the "brain dump" method and just spewing your thoughts on paper, it can be such a powerful way to actually get to know yourself, your emotions and your dreams.

20. Practice self compassion. You are learning. You are growing. And while it may feel like you so often don't get it "right", or that you haven't "arrived", remember that this journey is a beautiful rollercoaster (and so often one we cannot control), but what we can control is the way we speak to ourselves and treat ourselves along the way. 

 

You've got this, babe.

Let's push the habits that aren't serving us to the curb and start implementing one or even two of these practices in our lives.

 

Which one are YOU going to start with first? 

 

Xo Amanda

 

My 80 Day Obsession Journey: The Halfway Mark // An Honest Review

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ABS, ASS & ARMS?!? That should be the real name of the program. 

You know I'm always gonna keep it real with you guys so here goes...when I first heard about this program, I immediately thought it was NOT gonna be for me.

80 days? Jesus. No freaking way. And workouts longer than 30 minutes? (I've been SPOILED AF the last 2 years of doing workouts that last no longer than 30 minutes a day sooooo I was NOT excited about the prospect of mixing that up.)

But the more I looked into the program and saw how DIFFERENT it was than anything I'd tackled before, I decided to face my fears and dive in head first.


EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT 80 DAY OBSESSION

If you've been reading my blog and following my journey for a while now, you know I'm all about ditching the diet train and making fitness fun, which is why I'm crazy excited about this program because it focuses on transforming yourself in every aspect -- ESPECIALLY internal shifts. 

My favorite thing about being a coach isn't watching my clients have massive physical transformations that stick. Don't get me wrong, it's freaking AMAZING to watch the women I work with transform before my very eyes, but it's the internal shifts that they go through that really change their lives. And getting to offer that mental and emotional support to my gals is freaking EVERYTHING to me. 

When you challenge yourself, you discover how strong and resilient you really are from the inside out. And I've found that once you start to focus on taking care of your physical health, all of the other areas of your life fall into place. Your mental health. Your relationships. You start to live more on purpose and filled with freaking JOY.

And that's exactly how I've been feeling along this journey. I'm officially at the halfway mark -- day 40/80 BABY! And I'm SO excited about how freaking AMAZING I feel doing this program that I'm already gearing up for ROUND 2 (snag your spot and join me here if you wanna feel the magic too!!)

HERE ARE MY RESULTS SO FAR...

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Physically?

I stopped weighing myself a long time ago because for me, this journey isn't about a number on a scale. I still do measurements, because I'm FASCINATED by how my body changes during various exercises & I've lost 4.5 inches around my waist/legs/arms and GAINED 2 in my booty! Yup, I the booty is ROCKING right now and I'm freaking LOVING it.

And most importantly, I feel STRONGER and more connected to my body than I have in my entire life. Which is KEY for me right now because I'm dealing with some personal things that would leave me a complete mess, and this program is a huge part of what's keeping me grounded and feeling STRONG in my own body. 

Mentally and Spiritually?

I have never felt SO much body love in my freaking life. I'm feeling CONFIDENT, SEXY, embracing my curves and never felt more alive in my own skin.

I also feel 100% capable of completing 80 days (hell, I'm planning to go straight into round 2 I'm loving it so much!) so that's a HUGE mindset shift from when I started.


HERE IS MY REAL AND HONEST REVIEW OF MY JOURNEY SO FAR:

THINGS THAT SURPRISED ME ALONG THE WAY:

  •  I know for sure for sure that I feel MY BEST when I’m following a workout & meal plan. As a recovering binge eater( I say recovering ‘cause while I haven’t had a binge in a year and a half, I don’t think we ever fully recover from disordered eating), I tried the whole “intuitive eating” approach, and I intuitively ATE MY FEELINGS.  t’s TOUGH to get to a place with our bodies where we can actually trust that the signals it’s giving us are true signals from our bodies, and not just false paths from the preservatives/sugar/whatever the fuck in our foods. And while I truly do feel that I’ve gotten there, for me, structure & planning is what helps FUEL me best & keeps me feeling STRONG. 

  • There are a few days within the 80 day experience called Refeed days (which is essentially where you give your body simple carbs to Back in my obsessed days, I used to equate carbs to BAD or EVIL foods. And I legit stopped eating carbs for 2 years.  Reason # 1939474 why I love this program? It’s SO scientifically based & incorporates refeed days because when you’re working your muscles that much, they need the extra energy. Specifically, it needs GLYCOGEN to help rebuild yo muscles (I get a bit nerdy about this shiz you guys). I usually stick to more complex carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice & quinoa or chickpeas because my skin and body operates at its peak without gluten & simple carbs can often cause inflammation BUT every freaking once and a while, it’s so key for your body. 
  • To that same vain, I'm SO surprised how far I've come in the past 2 years of my health & fitness journey. Eating white carbs used to send me into a major binge spiral or I'd be guilt tripping myself for weeks and eat less food / over exercise to "make up for it". And NONE of that BS has been standing in my way. I feel more liberated than ever and THAT is a total game changer. 
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THINGS I LOVE:

  • How flexible the nutrition plan is -- it's really more of a guideline which I LOVE, because it gives that structure but you can always navigate within that according to the foods that YOU love and that genuinely make you HAPPY.
  • The length of the workouts. YUP, I freaking said it. The longer workouts are my favorite // the pace just feels SO right. WHO WOULD OF THUNK?!
  • The workouts themselves. I have muscles working I never knew existed haha.

THINGS I DON'T LOVE:

  • This program is not the most ideal for traveling. The sliders & bands are super portable but unless you have constant access to weights, it's not ideal. I DID make it work while in California & Hawaii (sometimes in weird ass ways...I used dishwashing detergent as my weights one day haha), but for big chunks of it I had access to a gym so that helped.
  • How SORE this program has made me haha. Epsom salts baths & foam rolling are KEY to a successful 80 days for sure! 
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WHO IS THIS PROGRAM FOR?

I’ve been getting a bunch of questions on what this program is all about so here are some commonly asked questions I’ve gotten...

Q: How long are the workouts?

A: There are 80 unique workouts in three phases, and each workout has a particular focus — Booty, Total Body Core, AAA, Legs, Cardio Core, and Cardio Flow. The moves may repeat in a phase, but Autumn changes the sets and rep patterns week by week so you keep making progress. And in each new phase the workouts are totally different, with brand-new moves to challenge you all over again. And since the workouts are filmed live, it’s never the same experience twice — it’s like having Autumn as your personal trainer every day!

The 80 Day Obsession workouts are 30–60 minutes in length, with most averaging 45–60 minutes. You’ll work out 6 days a week, with one rest day (Sunday). Because of this schedule, the 80 workouts are spread over 13 weeks. Rest days are not counted as part of the 80 days.

Q: I’ve been really out of the loop on a fitness plan for a long time. Is this program crazy advanced or beginner friendly?

A: 80 Day Obsession is best for intermediate to advanced fitness levels. It’s not a beginner workout, so you should already have a base of fitness before attempting this program. If you’re not sure whether you’re ready for this challenge, don’t worry! You can start with several rounds of A Little Obsessed, Autumn’s 5-day introductory program. A Little Obsessed has shorter, 30-minute workouts featuring some of the moves and equipment from 80 Day Obsession. You can also begin with Autumn’s other beginner-level programs, like 21 Day Fix or Country Heat, and work your way up to 80 Day Obsession // grab your free 14 day trial here to test the waters! 

Q: What's the nutrition plan like?

The 80 Day Obsession eating plans are based on the concept of timed-nutrition. Timed-nutrition is simply eating the right foods (especially incorporating protein and carbs) at the right times to help you fuel your workouts, build muscle, and recover from workouts while keeping your metabolism and energy levels high. Over the course of the day, our bodies fluctuate between breaking down muscle and building it back up. Timing your nutrition can help ensure your muscles have the protein they need during those building-up phases. YAY SCIENCE!!

 

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT  

Light/med/heavy weights, resistance loops & sliders (those come in your package!)


And there you have it! Can't wait to share where I'm at the end of this amazing test group experience. It's amazing what happens when you choose to BELIEVE in yourself (and watch in-fucking-credible women in your fit fam do the same FOR 80 DAYS.) 

Something shifts inside of you & that consistency factor you were never able to attain? That habit of putting your health & happiness first every single day?

It goes from a DREAM to your REALITY.

And if you're ready to feel the magic, snag your early bird spot for our next round kicking off April 23rd. 

Imagine how much your life could change in 80 days if you decided to fully invest in YOU.

How many shifts you could see take place within you.

The woman you would emerge in JULY being.

I see it, do you?

Xo Amanda 

 

 

 

To The Woman Obsessed with Working Out

A year and a half ago, I wrote this post sharing some of the ins and outs of my rollercoaster of a journey with health & fitness -- and while, at the time, I was sharing all that I had in me to share, there are big chunks of my story that I left out.

Out of fear.

Out of embarrassment.

But the thing is -- it's MY story (and probably your story too in a lot of ways), and if there's anything I've learned in my journey of being a blogger/coach/wellness advocate/woman, it's that sharing your story opens doors for others to say "ME TOO."

Hell, if the me too movement isn't damn proof of that.

And as I was leafing through old journals from my final year at university a few weeks ago and I read something that made my heart sink....

 

“I’ll be happy once I’m skinny. All I have to do is get to a size 2 and I'll finally feel beautiful and enough."

 

I finally feel like I'm in a good place with my body. A place where I genuinely love everything its capable of, and no matter the scars, the cellulite, the stretch marks -- they are a part of me and because of that, I love them and most importantly, I love MYSELF.

But it wasn't always this way -- I spent years believing I wasn't enough and so much of my time was dedicated to trying to "fix" the way I looked...

Let's rewind.

It's my final year at university and I'm in the last week before our senior musical theatre showcase. I'd been working my body to the bone for MONTHS to prepare.

You see, as a performer, I knew that I was about to put not just my talent but myself in front of a room full of people who could change the entire trajectory of my career as an actor. And all I could think about was fitting into that size 2 dress from Anthropology and losing the flab under my arms so I could finally get my big break. 

So I did everything I could.

I woke up every morning and ran 3 miles, rain, cold, snow, shine, even though I hated running more than anything on the planet. If I had a break during my school day, I would go to the gym in the building and do ab circuits/life weights/run on the treadmill REPEAT. And before bed at night, I would find some random tone it up workout on youtube and do that.

All to do it all over again the next day.

I was obsessed.

And my entire life was taken over -- between my workouts, double showers a day, and school, I had no time for anything FUN in my life. 

But that week, I stepped into that dress and you know what? It fit.

But those voices in my head that said I wasn't good enough didn't just magically go away.

And that day. I looked in the mirror and cried because I had finally gotten to where I wanted to be and I still didn't like what I see.

It took hitting rock bottom after rock bottom, binging until I gained all the weight back, to going on one crash diet after the next and rocking that diet cycle of death for a few years before I finally burnt myself to the ground and my body said no more for me to finally show up for me.

To focus on being HEALTHY instead of skinny.

To ditch the scale.

To eat REAL food and lots of it.

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Lady love, life is about SO much more than your workout.

It's about going on adventures, spending time with the people in your life who light you up, saying YES to things that excite you and showing up for yourself every single day.

And if you find yourself struggling with the idea of taking a "day off" from your exercise routine (or if you call a 'rest day' an hour and a half intensive yoga flow), then its time to gut check yourself and make a change. 


So how did I get from that girl crying in the mirror to where I'm at today? Honest? It took a shit ton of hard work, a lot of tears, major realizations and a shit ton of vulnerability. 

First of all -- Acknowledge that you are a human being and that this transition won't happen overnight. The patterns of over-exercising you've built up? They've become habits, and it's as difficult to break as an eating disorder. Give yourself grace, start cutting back on all those classes you're taking and be kind to yourself. This was a game changer for me (albeit fucking HARD because my perfectionist nature did not like it one bit). 

Second of all -- I started working with a health coach, who is still my coach and mentor (and friend) to this day. Having someone else looking out for my health & wellbeing was EVERYTHING. And whats more, she welcomed me into a community of other women that were also struggling with similar things so it gave me a space to communicate freely and openly. This is why I ended up becoming a health coach myself because all I wanted to do was pay it forward to others the way she did to me.

And lastly -- do your research. Over-exercising has long term harmful effects on your body. It can lead to adrenal fatigue (most women in the fitness space severely suffer from this without ever realizing), injury and more.

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In time, you'll get to a place where you no longer use exercise as a form of punishment. Where you move in ways that light you up and workout from a place of LOVE for your body and your mind, not hate. 

And all of a sudden, the world will open its door to so many beautiful things that you never realized you were missing out on this entire time -- I know it did for me.

I found time to foster budding relationships with women that have since become my best friends and business partners.

I learned all about how to use food as fuel and how I'd been putting so many harmful ingredients in my body for years. 

I learned about what true self care is all about, and the beauty of personal development. 

And that burnt out irritable version of myself? She's long gone.

 

I see so many women in the health & fitness space and they remind me of myself back then. My story ends well, but I know so many still struggle.

So if you are one of those women, I hope you can hear me when I say that your worth is not defined by your body. You are enough just as you are right fucking now.

And no matter how long it takes you to get to the other side, know that I am in your corner, cheering you on along this crazy ass thing we called life.

You are so loved.

And you are so enough.

Xo Amanda 

 

How To Overcome Food Guilt

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If you've ever struggled with emotional or binge eating, you know how tough the holidays can be (or really any day for that matter).

You binge your heart out at a holiday party, date night or a night alone on the couch watching Netflix and you wake up the next morning thinking to yourself how can I "fix this". 

So you run to the gym, obsessively workout for 2 hours to "work it off" 

I'm 100% NOT going to tell you to do ANY of those things because I've been there and not only do they not work, but they perpetuate the "I'm not enough" and obsessive cycle. 

Here are my favorite ways to overcome food guilt, the RIGHT way.


1. ADOPT THE MANTRA FOOD IS FUEL

That latest diet trend that's all the rage? Paleo? Whole 30? Juice cleanse? Keto?

It's called a trend for a reason -- and is only going to give you quick fix results that will ultimately perpetuate your emotional eating and trigger your negative eating habits.

Trust me, I spent years rocking the diet trends and thinking they would be the answer to all of my problems when it turns out, the real answer to breaking free of my yo yo dieting cycle of death was to focus on eating REAL FOODS and have a meal plan that included ALL the food groups ('cause this type A gal thrives off of structure and always will) 

Why the structure and not intuitive eating?

Honestly? I tried the whole intuitive eating thing and I intuitively ate an entire box of oreos...

While I'm in a place now where I can be more intuitive with my food choices because my body has self regulated after eating well for so long, I truly believe that the best way to transform your life is by adopting a meal plan that lays out the specifics of WHAT kinds of food will FUEL our bodies and the amount of food we need depending on our body type and goals.

Learn more about my food philosophy here...

2. TOSS YOUR TRIGGER FOODS

If you're an emotional/binge eater, chances are there are specific foods that set you off.

Mine are cookies, reeses cups, pizza, nutella and that monster trail mix from Target. If it's in the house, I WILL eat it. And all of it. 

I used to think this made me weak, especially after being on the path to recovery for a few years and "doing so well" -- but here's the thing about binge/emotional eating, it's not a clear cut path to recovery.

We can take steps forward and find a healthy relationship with food but those pesky trigger foods are REAL. 

Best way to overcome them? TOSS 'EM. Don't keep them around your house.

And if you live with someone, have the conversation with them and ask them if they'd be open to keeping those things out of the house. Your home should be your safe space and that means nothing that could trigger you, period.

3. SHOW YOURSELF SOME COMPASSION

So much about breaking free of the guilt cycle has nothing to do with our actions but everything to do with our MINDSET.

When you find yourself emotionally eating, what are you saying to yourself?

Are you using negative self talk or are you talking to yourself like you're your own best friend? It will feel completely weird at first but speaking to yourself with kindness is SO key in your journey to self love. 

It starts with yourself and you have the power to turn that around in an instant -- so be KIND to yourself. Give yourself grace for not being perfect. Do something for yourself that lights you up -- take a warm bubble bath, read an inspiring book, call your mom.

You are defined by so much more than what you're eating, babe.

 


Still struggling with your relationship with food?

Check out these additional resources:

How to Overcome Emotional Eating

Why I refuse to do the Whole 30

The Power of Superfoods 

 

Cheers to loving ourselves & fueling our bods with amazing food.

Xo Amanda 

How To Maintain Your Sanity Over the Holidays

 As we head into the holiday season, the inner gremlins and binge eating Amanda of the past starts to get under my skin and truth be told, it's this WEIRD combination of excitement and giddy-ness for the holidays and FEAR of crumbling back into my old ways and starting the cycle over again. 

While I know I've made SO many incredible shifts forward and have been binge free for a year and a half, anyone who has been addicted to something knows that there are triggers that remain, and the holidays have always been a major one for me.

Holidays used to mean daily binges, a shiz ton of negative self worth and an endlessly negative and irritable mindset. 

And this year, I'm determined not to let that happen.

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Do the holidays stress you out too?

I'm a routine gal 100% and the second I get out of my day to day structure, I feel a bit like a fish out of water.

The literal change of scenery can derail me and all of a sudden, I feel like I have to bend over backwards for those around me and putting myself and my health first become the last thing I think about.

Workouts go down the drain because I don't want to be "disrespectful" by taking the time to get it in.

I feel like I have to eat the food that's put in front of me, even if it's stuff that makes me feel like shit.

I push my daily self care routines to the side and find my anxiety at an all time high.

Sound familiar?

Heading into the holidays this year, I'm determined to feel my BEST, while taking time to unplug, fully enjoy myself and indulge in the festivities (and wine, duh). 

And I know that means being intentional with how I show up every single day, especially while I'm out of my normal routine.

I hope these tips help you take agency over YOUR holiday season and gets you one step closer to ending the year feeling your freaking BEST.


TOP 3 TIPS FOR HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR SANITY OVER THE HOLIDAY SEASON
 


1. Get your workout in first thing, every damn day


I don't know about you, but I'm a raging bitch when I don't get my workouts in. And when I'm dealing with the added stress of being away from home, dealing with all the family drama (and love!), taking that time for me first thing is SO KEY to keeping my anxiety at bay and starting my day on a positive note.

So set your alarm, lace your shoes up and get your sweat on.

I'm planning on rocking out a 21 day badass at home workout program that doesn't require any equipment and are only 30 minutes in length so I can get it done quick, no matter where I am!
We're in this together!!!!


2. Set boundaries


Unless you have decided to rock the holidays solo this year (in which case, go you!), you are going to be around family a bunch -- and probably some family members you don't see very often and possibly don't get along with.

Setting boundaries around what you will and will not do is huge, and even more than that -- communicating those boundaries to your family is KEY so that they can respect your needs.

For example: When I'm with my in-laws, they know that discussing politics is off the table because we have diametrically opposed beliefs and it does neither of us any good discussing it.

If you experience something similar with your own family but haven't set those boundaries yet, before the holiday season starts, be sure to sit down with your family and explain that you want to have a wonderful time together and that out of respect to you, you ask that they refrain from discussing anything under the political umbrella while you are together.

This goes for anything else that are boundaries for you.

You don't have to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation and just "handle it". You have a voice! So share it and allow the people in your life to rise up.

Setting boundaries is something I only recently started practicing and it's been a complete game changer. I know it can feel scary to put yourself out there and set a boundary with someone else, but I promise you, it is SO empowering to do -- and mutually beneficial! 

Can you imagine a world where we were all clear about our boundaries? Let's start a movement.
 


3. Put time aside for JUST YOU



The best piece of advice I ever received from my coach was to take at least 15-30 minutes a day for time just for ME.

Whether it's getting up early and pouring into my journal or a personal development book or taking my dog for a walk to clear my head, that "me time" is SO important amidst the hustle and bustle of all the social events, dinners and commitments this time of year.

And don't tell me you can't find 15-30 minutes for yourself. Schedule it out if you have to but make it happen. It'll change the game. 


And there you have it!

Let's rock this holiday season feeling our best.

Are you with me?

Xo Amanda 

 

My 3 Top Tips On How to Deal with Stress

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Does this sound like you?

Every single day.

You're feeling overworked. Busy.
Running out the door. Looking for your phone/keys. Leave your lunch on the kitchen counter.
Work all day.
Trudge home in traffic.
Grab a glass of wine. Make dinner.
Cuddle on the couch. Netflix.
Go to bed and do it all over again.

 

My day looked like that for years. 
 

And I will never forget what my mom said to me a few years back...

She said: "You have to slow down or you're going to burn out." 



And she was right.

And of course, like the stubborn gal I am, I didn't listen.

And I burnt the fuck out.

 

This isn't something I've had the courage to share until now (and to be honest, I'm not quite sure where I'm finding the courage to do it now, but it's happening and girl, I'm gonna go with it...) 

STRESS.

Such a little word but such an overwhelming feeling, am I right? And for some reason, people just DON'T talk about it. If I were to sit down and ask you right now if there's anything that's stressing you out in your life, chances are your answer would be a resounding YES.

And if not, holy shit girl congratulations for being an amazing amoeba -- this blog post probably isn't for you (although feel free to hang around, you're still awesome in my books). 

 

So why why why do we just not talk about it?

We've been taught to hide our stress. Keep our anxieties at bay. Put on a mask and "just deal with it". And while I'm all about keeping positive, I am also about being REAL and honest, and that includes the shitty days -- because YUP, you guessed it, stress is something I deal with all the fucking time. 

For YEARS I felt paralyzed by stress. I mean, I would get stressed out at the tiniest things -- if a dish was left in the sink for longer than an hour, if there was any form of traffic when I was driving, if situations didn't happen EXACTLY how my mind imagined that they would. 

I once removed myself from my own 14th birthday party because my friends didn't wanna watch Bring It On 2...(when my best gals remind me of this, I can't help but laugh now but at the time, I was PISSED.) And let's just say, that added stress that I kept imposing into my life...well, it kept up for a LONG while.

I was a bundle of stress and it was affecting so many areas in my life. 

My control freak tendencies got the best of me and for a while, I got so overcome by all of that stress that I started having panic attacks. I literally made myself sick because I couldn't give up my control over shit. I became the girl I always was so frustrated by -- the negative nancy who would spend her days complaining about the littlest things and putting more energy into the every day bullshit than the GOOD.

Sound familiar?

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While my schedule may look a whole hell of a lot different than it did then, I still lead a busy life. And what I've learned along the way is the importance to find ways to slow down and find some grounding amidst the busy.

Because let's be honest, you were not put on this Earth to spend your lifetime running around like a chicken with your head cut off and feeling endlessly anxious and overwhelmed.

 

MY TOP 3 TOOLS FOR DEALING WITH STRESS:

1. THE BRAINDUMP

This is a journaling technique that I adopted when I read the book The Artists Way and while I don't implement it every day anymore like I used to, on days when I'm feeling particularly anxious, it's a lifesaver.

The idea? As soon as you wake up in the morning, before you do ANYTHING, grab a journal and a pen and just write down anything and everything that's in your head. Don't edit. Just WRITE.

Light a candle, curl up in a blanket and treat this as your ME time.

Morning times doesn't resonate with you? Do this before bed to get rid of all of the BS chatter making it tough to fall asleep. 

2. MEDITATION

Honest? I was super turned off by meditation for years. I always felt like I wasn't doing it right and that I just couldn't sit still and quiet my mind the way I was "supposed to".

But once I shifted my perspective on it and gave it a chance, it did WONDERS for my mental health.

My best tip is to treat it as a PRACTICE. You're not going to be able to quiet the chatter but can you breathe through it? You are intentionally creating space for YOU and that is SO powerful! Celebrate that.

I recommend starting off with a guided meditation -- my personal favorite is a free app called CALM. Try out their 7 days of calm to get started and see how you feel!

3. THROW YOURSELF A DANCE PARTY

You know I had to add something goofy in -- I can't help it!

But for real, when you're feeling suuuper stressed out and funky and in your head, the best thing you can do is to MOVE YOUR BODY.

You know I'm all for a good sweat session, but if you can't muster up the time or courage to push play for 30 minutes and sweat it out, throw on some of your favorite tunes (my personal go tos are 90s boybands and disney belt fests) and DANCE YOUR HEART OUT.

 

And there you have it. 

What's your favorite of the 3 tips? Share in the comments!

Xo Amanda

Love letters to my former selves

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If you could go back in time and speak to your former self, would you?

I would. And I would have SO much to tell her.

 

I had an amazing childhood. I've had a pretty awesome life, all things considered.

From the outside, life can often look pretty picture perfect.

Hell, as a recovering perfectionist, I MADE it appear that way for YEARS. 

As so many of us do.

But what you so often don't see are the struggles and hardships others face -- because let's be honest, EVERYONE goes through something hard. Period.

If you don't, you're a robot and this post isn't for you.

Growing up, I WAS happy. I had an amazing family, wonderful friends and I was constantly doing things that lit me up: choir practice, rehearsing for shows, soccer, volleyball, planning volunteer events to raise money for charities, working my butt off to do well in school -- I was the epitome of the perfect daughter/student/friend/you name it.

But what most people didn't see was the stuff I hid behind closed doors.

The bullying. The body shaming. The emotional eating. The dieting. 

Dear 8 year old Amanda:

It doesn’t matter what those girls in your ballet class say or think. “You don’t belong here”, she said. Those words. They impact you in ways you never imagined. And while you may have stopped dancing for 10 years because of it, guess what? You freaking DANCE now. It may have taken time, and a whole lot of coaxing on behalf of your friends, but you belong anywhere you decide to belong. Period. The only person that decides your path is YOU.

 

Dear 10 year old Amanda:

Yelling at Mom about how nothing fits in the dressing room at the Hudson’s Bay Company isn’t going to make you feel better. She’s trying to help, because she LOVES you. And hates to watch you tear your body apart with your words. You may not be skinny like that popular girl in your class, but that doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful just the way you are.

 

Dear 13 year old Amanda:

I know you’re hurting. I know you don’t understand how anyone could be so awful as to literally throw rocks at you and call you ugly. I know you feel alone and scared but this? This will make you stronger. This will allow you to resonate with other women who have also been bullied and will open your heart up to a beautiful vulnerability that helps OTHER women heal. And THAT is a beautiful and powerful thing.

 

Dear 19 year old Amanda:

Hearing the words “you’re as big as a mac truck” from someone who supposedly loved you isn’t easy. And I know you can’t recognize it now, but this will be the thing that triggers your negative relationship with food and binge eating habits. YOUR WORTH is not dictated by another person's opinion of you. Your sadness will not be solved by an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And those words? They don’t define you -- all they do is shed a little insight into the BS world that person is projecting onto you.

 

Dear 21 year old Amanda:

This is the year it hits you. The year you realize that you actually look the way you never thought you would. You've somehow gained 30 lbs in 2 years without realizing -- what apparently happens when you're in college and have a disordered relationship with food -- and when you see that picture from your trip to Greece, you break down and cry. I know you're feeling helpless right now but this is the beginning of you finding your LIGHT, and while it may not be an easy road the next few years, it's going to make you stronger and have the experience to help so many women find a consistent, balanced and JOY-filled relationship with exercise and food. 
 

Dear 23 year old Amanda:

Working out 2 times a day and eating only brussel sprouts for dinner is not sustainable. You’re going to finally lose the weight you’ve been telling yourself you needed to lose to be happy. Actually, you’re going to get so skinny that your friends start telling you they’re concerned, but you just don’t see it. But you know what? Over-exercising and existing on bird food and cleanses?  It’s not going to make you feel GOOD. It’s only going to exacerbate your emotional eating, negative self talk and mental health. Only when you are FUELING yourself from the inside out and using fitness as a way to feel STRONG will you find your groove and feel ALIVE and CONFIDENT in your own skin.

Dear 24 year old Amanda:

I know this year has been CRAZY for you. You’ve been prepping for a wedding, bought your first home, and spend your days working 7 day jobs. You are going to burn out. And feel overwhelmed and exhausted. And you know what? That will lead you to the BEST decision of your life. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom to see the light.

 

My darling Amanda.

You are the STRONGEST, most COURAGEOUS woman I know.

 

You may not know it now, but these struggles? They don't define you.

And while in the moment, they felt HARD and IMPOSSIBLE to get through.

You did. You made it through.

And almost 3 years later, it's led you to such a beautiful life.

 

A life with a marriage that is far from perfect but gives you SO much joy every single life.

A life by design that YOU have crafted that genuinely lifts you up.

A positive relationship with food, exercise and your body.

And through it all, you've developed the COURAGE to share your story & maybe, just maybe, the work you do will make a dent in the world.

Give women a safe space to grow into their best selves.

And THAT is something to celebrate.

Xo, your future self.

Why I refuse to do the Whole 30

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, and my “I just wanna be liked by everyone” insecurities have been stopping me from doing so. But I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what “diet plan” I follow and what my philosophy on nutrition is and if I would recommend the Whole 30 to others, so while I know this is going to be a suuuper controversial topic, it’s time I bit the bullet and dove in.

 

I want to start off by saying that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to go about eating food. I will never write and tell you you have to eat this or you can’t eat that 100% goes against my philosophy. Every single one of us are made up differently and there is not “one diet fits all”. You’ve gotta experiment a bit and figure out how best to FUEL your body so it feels its best.

 

That being said,  it’s also my mission to be REAL AF with you ladies and share my personal experiences so that’s why I’m opening up about this on the blog today.

There are a shiz ton of fads out there right now surrounding food (paleo, ketogenics, vegan...the works) and Whole 30 is just one of the many, that it can be so tough to know where to start and what to eat.

One person says “eat this!” and another person says “ahhh stay away!”.

Eat sugar, don’t eat sugar.

Cut out grains!  

 

And I don’t know about you, but it can be so freaking exhausting to keep up with.

 

When I started my journey into being more intentional with my foods, I found the restriction or “off limit foods” to be overwhelming. I went from not really thinking about food to literally thinking about my daily food intake and which meal I was going to have next in an obsessive way. I read an article about how carbohydrates were awful for you, so  I cut out carbs for 2 years. YUP. You read that right. 2 fucking years. The FDA said fats were terrible for you so I started eating anything and everything with a “low fat” label. Veganism became a trend? I went vegan for a couple of months. Dairy got a bad rap? I cut it out completely.

I was on this cycle for years and within months of starting to focus on my food, I had developed some serious disordered eating tendencies and crazy anxiety surrounding food. Binge eating. Emotional eating. Anxiety around how many calories I was eating. Food journals. I would spend all day eating nothing but vegetables, lean meats and the occasional fruit and then would binge eat all the trail mix, nutella, oreos and ice cream I could find.

And this vicious cycle kept up for YEARS. All because of the latest diet trends I was told to follow to “get skinny” (which I, of course, thought would help me finally feel happy and confident -- wrong!).

 

It wasn’t until I had a really emotionally draining summer, gained allll the weight back and then some and had to start from scratch that things shifted. Because I knew there had to be a better way.

I know a lot of women who LOVE the whole 30. It has given them energy, mental clarity and a whole new approach to food that works for them. And if you’re someone who this program has resonated with, that’s GREAT!

 

But here’s the thing -- this isn’t the right program for everyone.

And it is certainly not the program for me.

 

Why, you ask? It’s very simple.

Because I have a history of disordered eating.

 

I know that for me, any plan that asks me to cut out entire food groups or has a restrictive nature in any way is going to be a major no-no for me. It’s immensely triggering, and I have come too far building such a positive relationship with food that I just won’t put that in jeopardy.

(Side note: the creator of the Whole30 Program, Melissa Hartwig, even puts a disclaimer in that if you’ve suffered with disordered eating in the past, this program may not be for you.)

Does this mean that I eat anything and everything? No. I stay away from processed foods because I know how terrible they are for me. And I limit my dairy intake as well as my simple carbohydrates because I know that for me, personally, they tend to leave me inflamed and bloated.

But it’s my choice. I listen to my body. I have adopted a system that is focused on portion control and whole foods, of alll categories. Yup, that means fruits, veggies, proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, the works.

Also, I have seen first hand how triggering the re-introductory phase of the Whole 30 can be for women who have any kind of negative relationship with food (even emotional eating!) Many of my clients have loved the process of Whole 30 while ON it, but as soon as they start to re-introduce other food groups that they have eliminated, they dive into serious binge eating spurts that take months and months to work through, both physically and mentally.  

 

So, am I planning on doing the Whole 30? Nope.

 

I’ve found a system that works wonders for me and for the first time in my life, I’m eating MORE food, looking and feeling better than ever and don’t ever feel restricted or controlled by food. Which is something I honestly never thought would be my reality.


That being said, there are a few things I love about the Whole 30:

  • I love that it’s a whole foods based nutrition plan.
  • I love that you are encouraged to ditch the scale and focus on how you FEEL versus the numbers you are seeing (#hellsyes I could not agree more)

  • I love that you’re encouraged to do it with a support squad. I have seen first hand just how amazing and empowering being on your journey with a community has been for my own personal journey (that’s why I created the Live Your F*ck YES Life program so I could pay it forward!) Community is everything in my books and I appreciate this aspect of the program for sure.


So the moral of the story? Do your research before you dive in.

If you're dealing with serious issues with food, speak to a professional.

If you're struggling with emotional eating and are tired of the yo yo diet train, find yourself a coach to work with building you habits that will LAST -- I know a good one ;)

And above all, don't believe everything you read. 

Trust your intuition and what your body is telling you. You are more in tune with your body than you think, my lady. 

And it's high time you start feeling FREE from all this food rule bullshit, ok?

I'd love to hear your thoughts -- are you a whole 30 fan or no? How do you feel about the diet industry? Share your thoughts in the comments below and I'll be sure to get back to you!

Xo Amanda

 

How I'm Getting Out Of My Fitness Rut

Hey Friends!

I haven’t done a personal blog update in a while and I’m feeling SUPER called to share some exciting news and also pretty personal shiz with you all so buckle up and hold onto your hats.

The past few months I’ve been in a bit of a fitness rut.

I’ve been deep diving into LIFE (traveling, starting a new job, taking a super rad course to uplevel my business and just my life in general) and while I was keeping up with my workouts, I wasn’t feeling inspired like I usually do. I started to let my workouts fall by the way side occasionally and my nutrition too -- especially my nutrition.

If you’ve been following my story for a while , you know that my journey in health & fitness has been a bumpy one. But what I haven’t talked much about is how it all started. 

 

Did you play sports growing up?

 

I may be a creative, actor, and girlboss entrepreneur, but growing up I LOVED playing sports. I played soccer for 10 years of my life -- my dad was my coach! And all through high school, I played volleyball. And I loved every second of it.

I loved the teamwork. I loved the competition. I loved the activity.

And I loved the feeling of being a part of something bigger.

Of pushing my limits beyond what I imagined I was capable of.

Especially in volleyball. I will never forget the day my best friend tricked me into going to try outs. I had never played a day of volleyball in my LIFE and here I was trying to get a spot on the team? Nuh uh. But you know what? I made the team. Second string, but still. I freaking made it. And from that moment on, I was determined to RISE. I showed up to every 6 AM practice with bells on. I knew that all I had to do was work hard, show up and do my best. So I did that, and I got better. And before I knew it, I was sitting first string middle, playing my heart out at every game and proving to myself that I was so much more capable than I ever gave myself credit for.

I just got back from an amazing trip to Ireland (trip recap on the blog to come, I promise!), and I realized while I was there and reminiscing with my dad about my soccer and volleyball days how much I miss it. I miss the challenge. I miss the feeling of committing to something 100% and deciding to RISE. 

And that’s why I’m so excited to be a part of a super exciting test group for a new agility strength program this month. I got to preview it for the first time this week and holy balls I haven’t been excited about a fitness program like this in a LONG TIME. And I’m SO excited to be rocking out this test group alongside of a badass group of women who are diving in head first to rock out this program with alongside of me (If you’re looking to ditch the diet, find joy in fitness and feel SEXY AF this summer, come join us! You can get more info here.)


EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SHIFT SHOP

 

If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you know I'm all about ditching the diet train and making fitness fun, which is why I'm crazy excited about this program because it focuses on transforming yourself in every aspect -- ESPECIALLY internal shifts. 

My favorite thing about being a coach isn't watching my clients have massive physical transformations that stick. Don't get me wrong, it's freaking AMAZING to watch the women I work with transform before my very eyes, but it's the internal shifts that they go through that really change their lives. And getting to offer that mental and emotional support to my gals is freaking EVERYTHING to me. 

When you challenge yourself, you discover how strong and resilient you really are from the inside out. And I've found that once you start to focus on taking care of your physical health, all of the other areas of your life fall into place. Your mental health. Your relationships. You start to live more on purpose and filled with freaking JOY.

I'm friends with a few of the coaches in the Shift Shop test group and while their physical results are freaking insane, what inspired me the most was hearing about their mental and emotional transformations.

Rocking out a program like this is not easy, and having extra support and accountability is KEY to success. Which is why I'm excited to be hosting a Shift Shop Challenge with my entire coaching team later this month for anyone who wants to try the program with me!

WHO IS THIS PROGRAM FOR?

I’ve been getting a bunch of questions on what this program is all about so here are some commonly asked questions I’ve gotten...

Q: I’ve been really out of the loop on a fitness plan for a long time. Is this program crazy advanced or beginner friendly?

A: It's great for all fitness levels. If you have a lot of weight to lose, this program will be your on-ramp to fitness. If you've spent some time away from your regular routine, it will lead you through a fitness tune-up. It's perfect for anyone who wants an easy commitment to jump-start their regimen.

Q: How long are the workouts?

A: In three short weeks (21 days) you progress from basic 25 minute workouts to advanced 45 minute routines - all while honing your nutrition for optimal results.

Q: What are the workouts like?  

Here's an outline of how the 3 weeks will go down...

WEEK ONE
Speed: 25 (25 min) Jumpstart your cardio with 1-minute intervals designed to work your entire body and make you break a sweat.

Strength: 25 (25 min) Build a strong foundation with easy-to-learn 1-minute intervals of resistance movements designed to set you up for success.

WEEK TWO
Speed: 35 (35 min) Intensity increases as does the formations. This workout was designed to improve your agility, build your stamina and burn more calories.

Strength: 35 (35 min) By combining the foundational moves, the intensity ramps up creating new challenges as you continue to get stronger.

WEEK THREE
Speed: 45 (45 mins) Up the ante with new dynamic drills that continue to ramp-up your conditioning and get your ready for any challenge.  

Strength: 45 (45 mins) The ultimate resistance workout created to challenge every muscle group to increase definition and get the very best out of you.  

BONUS
Shift Core (12 mins) Strengthen your core as you breathe through 9, 1-minute ab-shredding exercises.

Shift Mobility: 20 minutes of focused stretching to alleviate tightness and get you ready to continue the Shift.

Super Speed: 50 (50 mins) Adding in the Beachbody PT Sandbag, this workout brings you 3 rounds of calorie-scorching drills guaranteed to shift your endurance into high gear.

Super Strength: 50 (50 mins) Three rounds of resistance intervals designed to challenge your strength with the Beachbody PT Sandbag. This workout will challenge your body and your mind.

Super Shift Core: Take the Beachbody PT Sandbag to the mat for 9 intense 1-minute core-focused exercises.

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT  

Agility Markers and Weights For Base Kit Workouts. Sandbag and/or weights for Deluxe Workouts.

Q: Is there a nutrition component to this program?

A: Hells yes!!! And guess what? NOT a diet. Just a banging lifestyle plan that is all about using food as FUEL. 

The nutrition plan uses the portion containers from the 21 Day Fix and Portion Fix, which I love because they give me just the right balance between intuitive eating and structure. Every single meal is planned out so there’s no guesswork - you just pick the foods that you want to eat that fall into the containers.

And ALL FOOD GROUPS ARE A PART OF THE PLAN. Yup. Halle-freaking-lujah.

That being said, every week the nutrition plan shifts, which is arguably what I'm most excited about. I know firsthand how much our nutrition choices can shift SO much of how we feel and I can't wait to mix things up a bit.

So, how is it different? Just like the workouts, each week your portions change. You gradually decrease your carbs and increase your protein and healthy fat, so your body starts to burn fat as fuel.

I know this is going to be a challenge because I know I’m going to have to break my snacking and emotional eating tendencies, but at the same time, I know this is going to give me so much freaking clarity. 

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Ready to make the Shift?

If you’re interested in entering the Shift Shop with me, I’m hosting an accountability group with my coaching team and we’re all going to do the program together!

We’ll have a daily check-in to make sure we stay on track, and it will be a safe, positive space to share our journeys.

These accountability groups are MAGIC and make the biggest difference when it comes to actually following through on your goals and making lasting change happen.

Questions? I'm always just an email away and would love to hear from you!!! Let's rock this summer out :) 

Xo Amanda

The Power of Superfoods

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Not gonna lie, I used to think the word superfood was a load of BS.

 

All those juices jam packed with “superfoods”? Really I was just drinking sugar 😂 and yeah, maybe blueberries were thrown in there (and yesss they're considered a superfood) but was that really a healthy choice? I thought so, but now I know better.

 

And girl, let me help you AVOID the mistakes I made that led me down an emotional/binge eating spiral of despair for sooo many freaking years.

Superfoods are AMAZING -- when it’s presented and ingested in the right ways -- and while it has been the “hot new word” for years now, I truly didn’t understand WHY and HOW until the past year.

 

So why are superfoods an important part of our diet?

They help our bodies THRIVE.

Unlike sooo many medicines these days that just put a bandaid over our symptoms, they actually heal our bodies from the inside out.

And they prevent chronic diseases.

 

SAY WHATTT? Yup, it’s real.

I don't know about you but as a gal who has a 50/50 chance of having the cancer gene, that was reason enough for me to get on board.

 

I’m not gonna bore you with all of the ins and outs of what each and every superfood can do for your health (and if you’re nerdy like me, I know you’re probably googling the benefits of ashwagandha as we speak) but I will share with you some of my personal favorites and their benefits -- ‘cause I know you’re a busy babe and are probably reading this on your lunch break to escape your 9-5 and just don’t have time to spend hours on google -- I GOTCHU!

Chaga (the hot new superfood!) -- it’s actually a mushroom believe it or not! And it helps stimulate and regulate the immune system, gives nutritional support in the fight against cancer, reduces inflammation in the body and has anti-aging properties.

Matcha -- rich in antioxidants, helps reduce blood pressure, boosts your metabolism and helps keep your body alert throughout the day.

Rose hips -- high in vitamin C, treats skin ailments, filled with antioxidants and helps support the immune system

Maca - I looove the benefits of this one -- helps those with chronic fatigue, and it also increases stamina, memory, and it promotes female hormone balance naturally! (Can I get a what whattt!)

 

This whole healing your body naturally is REAL you guys.

 

But when I decided I was IN and went to the grocery store to load up on matcha, rose hips, chaga, maca etc. I quickly realized I would end up spending upwards of $500 just for a few superfoods here and there, I knew there had to be a better and more affordable way. I’m ALL about investing in my health, and do so on the regular (because let’s be honest, it’s all we have!), but that just seemed craaaazy.

So, when I learned that this all natural chocolatey bad boy had not just those superfoods but 47 others, and that it was actually in my freaking budget, I was all in.

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I’ve been drinking it every day for a year and a half now, and I’ve noticed significant changes in my health. My anxiety and stress is wayyy lower and more manageable, my nails are strong and shiny for the first time in my life, TMI but my poops are on point and my IBS is gooooone, and despite working around kids, I’ve only gotten sick once since drinking it and it was a minor cold that I kicked in the butt in 2 days.

So, yeah, I believe in the power of superfoods.

And you should too.

Because all those protein shakes you see on the market that you think you’re being healthy by drinking (yeah, girl, I’m calling you out -- I was there too. I didn’t know any better!) Most of them are filled toxic fake shit and nooooone of them are doing anything to actually HEAL YOUR BODY.

 

So, how can you start using Superfoods to help your body THRIVE?

Here are some places to get started:

  • Start small! Pick a couple of superfoods that resonate with you and your symptoms and start adding them into your daily routine! You can throw them into your smoothie or overnight oats! (I used to do this with chia seeds, blueberries and acai berries back in the day!)

  • Wanting to look your best and brightest for wedding season? Add in some collagen to your daily routine ;) I recently tried Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides and love that it’s all natural and you can’t taste it! Add it to your coffee or smoothie in the morning and voila!

  • Go big or go home and get an entire superfood overhaul of your health and get 50 + superfoods in your body every single day -- if that isn’t a magical cup of goodness, I don’t know what is (and it tastes like brownie batter soooooo it’s kinda the f*cking best). Wanna check it out for 30 days? Message me now! I’ve got your back girl ;)

How To Overcome Emotional Eating

                                                                                                                                                     Photo by  Kara Evans Photography

                                                                                                                                                    Photo by Kara Evans Photography

Hey hey hey, ma lady!!

We're knee deep in our Live Your F*ck YES Life challenge in my corner of the universe and the energy is on FIRE. We're virtually sweating our booties off together every day, rocking out a killer meal plan and cheering each other on and I couldn't feel more PUMPED UP. If you’re one of the gals in our group -- know that I appreciate and freaking love you more than you know! (For more deets on what my monthly health & fitness groups are all about -- click here)

The last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking a lot about a topic that’s near and dear to my heart and I thought it was high time I shared this on the bloggity blog because I have a feeling it’s something you struggle with too.

 

What am I talking about? EMOTIONAL EATING and SABOTAGE.

 

You start a new program or nutrition plan super strong and motivated, and then by Day 3 you have a stressful day, come home, raid the pantry and eat everything in sight. And then you throw in the towel because “you may as well just start all over again”.

OR

when you've been eating healthy all day and then someone brings donuts to the office and you can't stop the sugar monster.

OR

you let work or family stresses get to you and you eat to numb out.

And then you feel disgusting. You stare at the mirror and you hate that you hate your own reflection, and you are so freaking tired of never been strong enough to really commit to something and rock out the healthy happy LIFESTYLE you want so badly.

Sound familiar?

Or maybe it's another version of the same story.

Just replace food with your job. A relationship. Any area in your life where you want to see a positive shift take place.

 

First of all, girlfriend, I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

 

We all struggle with this. With the feeling of letting ourselves down. Of not feeling good enough

But can I tell you a secret? A shift in perspective that made all the difference for me on my journey?

Beating yourself up for failing at something is a sign that you CARE about yourself.

It means you WANT to succeed. That you care about yourself enough to actually want to make those positive changes in your life take hold. 

Which means, while you may not have been able to get there yet, you CAN. And you WILL.

It's just going to take some dedicated work, some accountability (‘cause shit, don’t we alll need that!) and a lot more time than your inner mean girl thinks it should. ‘Cause giiirl, I know you’ve been should-ing all over yourself.


So, how do you start to overcome this and take some positive steps forward?

Here are my top 3 tips to getting started:

  1. Get curious. Awareness is the first step towards positive change. So pay attention to yourself. What are your habits? What are you saying to yourself? When do you tend to emotionally eat?
  2. Show yourself LOVE. Getting aware is such an important step for being able to take action, but it can also be tough to admit these things to yourself. So be KIND to yourself. And remember, YOU have the power to change anything and everything in your life in an instant. And showing yourself grace while you slowly take positive steps forward is KEY to being able to achieve what you want. It’s not easy and there will be days when you catch your mean girl coming to play and THAT’S OKAY. That’s part of the process and something we all deal with ;)
  3. Speaking of that, whenever you catch your mean girl popping up, ask yourself “what would I say to my best friend if they were going through this situation?” Quit letting your inner mean girl take the reins and let your LIGHT shine through, not just to others in your life but to YOU TOO!

 

You are more powerful than you know. And if you do the work, I promise you, you will start to see the LIGHT inside of you shine in ways you never imagined possible.

I believe in you. 

It’s time to start believing in yourself too ;)

Xo Amanda

P.s. Interested in seeing more shizzz like this and jumpstarting your emotional eating healing process and finding FOOD FREEDOM? Click the button below to snag your FREE Busy Babes Guide To Healthy Living & get weekly love bombs to your inbox!

My Top 5 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

As a health coach, one of the biggest concerns I hear - “I just can’t afford to eat that healthy all the time!”

And I totally get it.

When I first started on my health journey, I was freaking out about the price sticker on so many “healthy items” that all these crazy meal plans were telling me I needed -- almond flour, flax seeds -- you name it! And I was like uhhhh this is not sustainable for ANYONE, let alone an actor/just out of college gal like me. So I made it my mission to find a way to make it simple and AFFORDABLE.

So girl, let me be the first to tell you, from a gal who is SUPER budget conscious that if I can do it, you can too.


Here are my 5 best tips & tricks for being health & budget conscious:

1. Location

WHERE do you shop? This was a game changer for me.

I live super close to a Whole Foods, but I could never afford to shop there regularly- can you say whole paycheck? So the hubby and I shop at local produce markets and Trader Joes/Marianos for the most part!

Don’t have a Trader Joes near you? What about Aldi? Aldi has AMAZING prices and they have begun a no GMO program and offer many more organic options.

2. Buy what’s in season!

Yes, fresh produce can get pricey- so find a good deal on what is in season and FREEZE it for later use!

In the summer, I buy so much corn because it’s cheap and tastes so much better- I cut it off the cob and freeze it to use throughout the year. Same with berries, berries can be so pricey so I stock up when they are at a reasonable price. Then I cut them and freeze them! Great for smoothies, oatmeal, whatever down the road!

3. Use saving apps

You guys I don’t know whyyyy I never utilized this before but coupons are freaking awesome -- use them! AND THERE ARE APPS you can use!!!!

My girlfriend Jess introduced me to Flipp -- have you heard of it? Not only do they have many of the discount newsletters for your favorite stores, but you can input your grocery list and they will tell you if any nearby stores have those items on sale! I like Flipp because you can use YOUR grocery list to find deals, not just randomly buying whatever happens to be on sale, ya know?

4. Make a grocery list.

If you don’t plan ahead, you might think you need several things you actually have in your pantry, and you will end up spending money on all the impulse buys. Make a plan and stick to it!

5. Learn to cook

Kev and I save so much money when we eat in.

And I want to show you just how much:

Kev and I spend about $75-85 a week at the grocery (and YASS we eat a lot haha). Plus, we spend $99 a month on Shakeology. So thats about $101 a week on our meals and snacks. If we each eat 3 meals a day (42 meals a week) and 2 snacks a day (28 snacks), that adds up to be $1.57 per meal or snack! Tell me a restaurant that you could find a healthy option for $1.57!

Don't know where to start?

Grab your FREE copy of the Busy Babe's Guide to Healthy Living -- filled with whole foods grocery list, meal plan printable and healthy recipes! 

 

What’s a tip that YOU have to share about healthy eating on a budget?

Which of the above really spoke to you and is something you're gonna start implementing in your life?

Ways to Slow Down and Destress your Busy Life

Every single day. You're feeling overworked. Busy. Running out the door. Looking for your phone/keys. Leave your lunch on the kitchen counter. Work all day. Trudge home in traffic. Grab a glass of wine. Make dinner. Cuddle on the couch. Netflix. Go to bed and do it all over again.

That's what my day looked like for years. 

And I will never forget what my mom said to me one day a few years back. She said, "You have to slow down or else you're going to burn out." And she was right. And of course, like the stubborn gal I am, I didn't listen. And I burnt the fuck out and for so many years, wore busy as a badge of honor

While my schedule may look a whole hell of a lot different than it did then, I still lead a busy life. And what I've learned along the way is the importance to find ways to slow down and find some grounding amidst the busy. Because, let's be honest, life isn't mean to be lived running around like a chicken with your head cut off, am I right?

Ready to destress and take away the overwhelm?

Here are some things you can start incorporating into your life right now, girlfriend!

START EACH DAY WITH A WORKOUT

 

Getting your body moving is the freaking BEST thing you can do to de-stress and start your day off on a beautiful foot! I used to use the "I don't have time" excuse all the time but as soon as I started my at home workouts and was rocking out 30 minutes or less for my whole day for a workout, it became a non-negotiable and all my excuses were busted at the door. I chat about some of my favorite go-tos here!

Wake up 30 minutes earlier. And freaking GET IT IN. Your body, mind and soul will thank you.

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PRACTICE MINDFULNESS

Even amidst a crazy schedule, there are so many opportunities to be mindful. To show up for our lives with intention. 

Be present.

Look deep within and figure out what is important to you.

Decide to live your life on purpose in every way that you CAN. And commit to showing up as the woman you KNOW you were put on this earth to be.

Not sure where to start? Download your FREE copy of 5 Steps to A Mindful Life for a deeper look into how to implement this into your daily life!

GO FOR A WALK

There's a reason all great creatives/writers/thinkers have a daily walk as part of their routine. Being outside gives us a break from being at our computers. A way for us to unplug and just BE. 

Bonus? If you have a pup like I do, it's super awesome bonding time and they'll love you forever. 

 

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LAUGH YOUR BOOTY OFF

Call your gal pal that always makes you laugh so hard you pee a little.

Throw yourself a dance party with your dog in the kitchen while making dinner. 

JUST LAUGH. It's an immediate reminder not to take life So seriously and to soak in the present. (And it helps you make faces like this!)

 

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UNPLUG FROM YOUR PHONE

Turn it off an hour before bed and leave it off for the first hour in the morning too. Or at least put it on airplane mode.

We spend so many hours staying constantly connected and it's causing more and more stress to our nervous system and our brain. Soak in that unplugged time and you'll feel less stressed in no time.

(and yes, girl, those emails CAN wait until work hours. And you're not gonna miss anything important on Instagram, I promise.)

 

What's something you're committing to to start YOUR journey to a less stressed life?

Share in the comments or, if you're looking for some extra accountability and a safe space to go through this process, join our Live on Purpose Facebook community! 

Cheers to living a more intentional and grounded life! You deserve it, babe.

Xo Amanda

p.s. not getting weekly love bombs to your inbox yet? Girl, what are you waiting for?! I dish out allll of the goods there ;)

5 Steps to Loving Yourself From the Inside Out

I've been digging deep lately into the topic of Self Care and it's been a GAME CHANGER for me.

You guys, I used to think that self care was a load of BS, but let me tell ya, when I intentionally make time for the things that light me up, I am in a freaking AMAZING place and even the worst of days don't affect me the way they used to. It's pretty amazing.

When I first started out on my journey to self love, I didn't really know where to start. I thought self care meant Netflix and chill and taking a bath after a long day with a glass of wine.

And don't get me wrong, there is a time and place that all of the above (I spent last night doing JUST that and it was epic), but self care is so much more than that. It's about intentionally spending pockets of your day doing the things that make you feel amazing so that you can show up for the rest of your life (ya know, work, relationships, the works!) in a way that is 100% YOU. 

No more burnt out, overwhelmed, stressed out BS. By implementing these 5 main things into my life, I have been able to completely remove the overwhelm and spend even the busiest of days feeling grounded, inspired and empowered.

And no, it's not magic. Although you KNOW I'm still waiting for my letter to Hogwarts. ;)

This shit is REAL. And things that you can start putting into your life right freaking now. Because you freaking deserve to love yourself from the inside out, girlfriend. So let's get to the good stuff.


1. GET YOUR SWEAT ON

I don’t know about you, but my workouts are a HUGE part of my self care practice -- I’m a ragin’ biotch without my endorphins. Anyone else feel me?

But for a long time, I wasn’t making my workouts as priority in my life.

How many times have you skipped your workout because you’re “just too busy” to get it in?

If you aren’t all raising your hand right now, YOU LYIN’. (Ok, I kid, I kid) But for real, I know I used excuse after excuse all the time...

“I just don’t have any time during my crazy day to get my workout in” OR “I’ll go to the gym tomorrow after work” OR “I’m just too dang tired.”

Look, I get it. I hear you, loud and clear. I’ve been there! And I get that going to the gym or that hot new Spin class can take two hours out of your day, and that stinks (and is honestly freaking exhausting). But here’s the thing: You don’t need hours out of your day to get a good workout in. Hell, I don’t even remember the last time I did a workout that lasted longer than 30 minutes. (I'm always just a message away if you're looking for some amazing workout options!)

So, girl, get at least 30 minutes of exercise in! YOU CAN GET IN THIRTY MINUTES.

Let’s BUST those “I’m too busy” excuses and GET IT DONE. If I can do it, so can you ;)

2. FUEL YOUR BODY WITH WHOLE FOODS

I will say this shit again and again until I'm blue in the face -- diets don't work. Calorie/macro counting is triggering and exhausting. And you DESERVE to never feel restricted in life.

The answer? Whole foods and portion control.

Because of these tools, I'm now living a balanced life where I'm fueling my body with food that is ACTUALLY good for me (and not a raging starving biotch in the process -- because let's be honest, that's exactly what I was when I was on the yo-yo diet cycle of death *cringe*)

Want a sneak peek into a day in the life of eats with Amanda? Check it out here!

3. FOCUS ON POSITIVE SELF TALK

I don't know about you, but for soooo long, I would spend every morning looking at myself in the mirror and focusing on what I perceived as "bad". I would suck in my stomach in an attempt to make it flat, stare at my thighs and wonder why they couldn't be smaller & just blatantly make myself feel unworthy and unattractive.

Have you ever felt this way before? 

I cannot tell you how IMPACTFUL positive self-talk has been for me. It is not going to happen overnight (and those thoughts will continue to happen because, hey, we're all human and that inner shit talker is a fiery biotch!), but if you can implement some of these tips into your day, I cannot tell you how much it will change the way you view yourself.

MY 3 BEST TIPS FOR POSITIVE SELF TALK:

  • When you look in the mirror, focus on what you DO love, not what you don't.
  • Do something that makes you feel on freaking fire. Rock a workout. Throw yourself a dance party. Get out of your head and into you body!
  • Quit the comparison game. I know you do it. We all do. If you are following people on social media that trigger you, stop following them. Or better yet, remember that you don't know their story or how they got themselves to look the way they do. Celebrate your own personal victories and remember that we're all on our journeys -- and where you are right now is exactly where you're supposed to be.

4. GET YOUR SILLY ON

Ok girlfriend, you KNOW that I’m ALL about a giant goofball and seeking JOY every single freaking day. So this clearly had to have a bullet point on it's own :) 

As we grow up, gain responsibilities, stressors, obligations and what not, we lose our sense of PLAY. Remember that unbridled freedom we felt as kids? Freedom to laugh to our hearts content (or until milk came out of our nostrils!), freedom to act like FOOLS and not be worried about other people judging us, FREEDOM TO JUST BE!

I want to challenge you to be SILLY. I feel like so often in life we are “required” to take ourselves seriously and while it is important to do so at times, I think connecting with our inner goofball is NECESSARY for the soul. And this goes for your workouts too! Sometimes I find myself attempting a move and just flat out FLAILING. Anyone else? I used to get so frustrated with myself when I couldn’t “master” something, but I’m working on just keeping on keeping on and learning to LAUGH at myself because, let’s be honest, if someone was watching us during our workouts, I’m sure they’d be giggling right along with us.

MY FAVORITE WAYS TO BE SILLY:

  • Jammin' out in the shower to my favorite song and SANGIN' at the top of my lungs!
  • Playing with my pup
  • Sending rah-diculous pictures to my besties!

5. CREATE A SELF CARE BASKET

This is something I did for myself when I started my journey to self care a year ago and it was SO freaking impactful.

So what exactly is a Self Care Basket? It's a basket/box (you can use a shoebox or whatever you have lying around at home!) that you fill with things that make you happy. That make you light up inside when you see it. A box that you can go to for a little self love when you’re feeling those negative thoughts and feelings come your way.

Have FUN with this challenge. Find things around the house // Go to the Dollar Store or Target or TJ Maxx for affordable options! 

And most importantly, I want you to be really intentional with this. What makes me happy is probably different than what really lights YOU up. So really ask yourself, what are the things that make you so freaking happy you could burst ;) 

Here's what I came up with for mine!

And there you have it!

My favorite 5 things to rock out my self care routine!

Which one are you committing to start implementing into your routine this week? Share in the comments below!

Busy Babe's Guide to Meal Prep

Let me guess.

You're two weeks into the new year and you are already starting to see your nutrition.

You had SUCH GOOD INTENTIONS to making this year your healthiest year yet. Losing those last 5-10 lbs. Feeling energized, amazing -- you were gonna SLAYYYYYYYYYY 2017.

But then life happened. And you got busy. And it's cold. And pizza.... I get it. I really do. I was right there with you.

But this year has been different.

For the first time in my adult life, I have come into the new year HAPPY, HEALTHY and so freaking energized. I'm rocking out my goals and feeling like a whole new woman -- and you wanna know why?

MEAL PREP.  

I know, I know, this may seem RIDICULOUS. That such a little thing could cause such a major shift. I thought it was ridiculous too! (probably why I didn't actually implement it for so long), but holy shitake mushrooms it has been the number one game changer for my health. 


So here are my top 10 meal prep tips for Busy babes just like you...

1. Have a PLAN

Make a list of your favorite healthy foods, choose simple (and delicious -- duhh) recipes that can be made quickly [Need some ideas? Click here to grab your Free Recipe E-book] and decide what you'll eat for every snack and meal. 

2. Stick to your Grocery List

"Fail to plan, fail to succeed" -- that's my motto when it comes to food shopping. I go into the grocery store with a PLAN. No throwing in those Reese's cups or your favorite chips into the cart -- if you don't have it in the house means you are setting yourself up for success! (PSA: if there is chocolate in the house I WILL EAT IT. haha My hubby knows.) So stick to your list. And hopefully, if you're following a meal plan that promotes balance, your list will have some treats here and there anyways ;)

3. Keep snacks simple

When you're gearing up to make food for the week, it's best to keep snacks simple. Save time by choosing snacks that don't require a lot of time to put together -- my go tos? Fresh fruit with some peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, Shakeology and carrots and hummus! All DELICIOUS!

4. Look for shortcuts

Pre-chopped veggies & fruit (or just fruits that don't need chopping! I love me some apples and bananas), cooked lentils/garbanzo beans are a great complex carb to add to a meal and come ready to rock and tuna packets (in water) are a personal favorite of mine for a quick and easy protein option to throw on a salad or mix in with some avocado :) 

5. Cook everything all at once!

I spend about an hour a week on meal prep and you know how? Because I do it all at once! Roasting veggies, sweet potatoes and even chicken breasts can happen all at the same time -- which not only saves you time but also cuts down your utility bill ;) You know I've got your back.

6. Batch it out!

And better yet? Make big ol' batches of everything so you have plenty of healthy options on hand. Make a large batch of quinoa or brown rice (or whatever whole grain you loooove!) and bake a bunch of chicken breasts/lean meat/ground turkey at once, chop them up and keep them in the fridge for salads and dinners.

7. Pack your meals

Schedule time in your evening to pack your lunch and all of the meals you need for the next day! That way you aren't feeling rushed in the morning // inclined to just "go out to eat since it's easier"

8. Mix it up

I was so worried when I started meal prepping that it would mean eating the same, boring thing every day -- but it doesn't have to be like that! Give yourself OPTIONS throughout the week so that you can mix it up when you're feeling like it! I recommend having at least 2 lunch and dinner options. Start small and make simple changes (like swapping out your protein for dinner!) and once you get the hang of it, you can get more creative in the kitchen.

9. Crockpot that shit

If there's one kitchen appliance I cannot recommend enough, it's my crockpot. It is a lifesaver for busy babes like me and is GREAT for leftovers :) Here's one of my fave recipes from my girl Laura!

10. Remember WHY this is important to you

All of this meal prep -- it's not to make your life HARDER, it's to help you reach your health and fitness goals. To be less tempted to stop for fast food or order takeout. To have MORE TIME to do the things you love with the people that matter to you than spending your evenings cooking away. If you get clear on WHY healthy living is something that is important to you -- on how you WANT to feel, you will be more inclined to keep this meal prep game up -- and give you even more time to Push play and rock your workout ;)


What's YOUR why? Your biggest struggle when it comes to meal prep? I'd love to hear/guide you in the right direction! Share in the comments below or Contact me :) I'm always here for you!

Xo Amanda

p.s. Click the button below for some quick and delicious recipes that I put together just for you! 

How to make your Resolutions STICK this year.

Do you feel like you're constantly putting the same resolution on paper, year after year after year? Or you get SO EXCITED about your resolution to finally lose those pesky 10 lbs, travel more or and come February, have gotten so consumed with your day to day life that you've all but forgotten about it?

I was that gal. Hell, I was WORSE. I would make a bucket list of 50 things I wanted to do that year, would find it 6 months later and feel like a total and complete fuck up because I hadn't done any of it.

But this past year, my entire mindset on new years resolutions and goal setting has completely shifted. Instead of writing a bazillion things down that my Ego told me I should be doing/wanting to do, I have found a system that makes me FEEL GOOD and for once, actually FOLLOW THROUGH. Let's make 2017 AMAZEBALLS, ok?

My Top 3 Tips for Rocking those Resolutions

1. Focus on how you want to FEEL

Take a look at your bucket list -- or any previous resolutions you may have made in the past or are planning to rock out in 2017 -- are they actually things that light you up? Or are you putting join a gym and lose 15 lbs because that's what everyone and their mother writes down for their resolutions...

If you are doing that, know that it's TOTALLY NORMAL. I did that for years and of course, I never actually followed through with my resolutions. And I now realize that it's because they weren't things that actually made me EXCITED. 

So how do we choose resolutions that are actually in line with how we want to feel? I've come up with 5 questions that I ask myself every year that help me figure out how I want to FEEL -- and then base my resolutions on those answers!

  • Other than time or money, what I want more of is...
  • My joy comes from...
  • I crave...
  • When I'm feeling free and strong, I tend to...
  • I need to give myself more permission to be...

Dig deep. Be honest with yourself. You'll be surprised at what comes out. And based on your answers, think about how you want to feel in the various areas of your life. For example: for my lifestyle/work life I want to feel FREE, for my body/wellness I want to feel STRONG, for my creativity/learning I want to feel VIBRANT, for my relationships I want to feel CONNECTED and for my inner work/spirituality I want to feel GROUNDED

+Read more about how to make intentions vs. goals here

+ Wanna really dig deep? Check out The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. It was a game changer for me!

2. Create a Visual

Once you've figured out resolutions that are in line with how you want to feel, your next step is to create a vision board.

I know, I know, this may seem super hokey -- trust me, I bashed it for years -- but I actually did one this year and you know what? I ended the year having achieved almost every single thing on there. Visuals are KEY to success. So often we write something down on a piece of paper or our journal, never to be found again. Writing it down and putting it somewhere you can see every dang day is going to bring you SO MUCH CLOSER to achieving it because it's always in the forefront of your brain. (And finding pictures is just so fun and bright sooo vision boards are the best)

Not a crafty queen and love the shit out of Pinterest? 

Make a board on there and set a reminder in your phone to come back to it every week! 

3. Find a Support Squad

This. This has been the key for me.

On my search to find a way to live my dream life, I found a girl on Instagram that shared her story about how she got out of her funk, was able to build a healthy relationship with food and was able to in the span of a year, quit her full time job and work for herself on her own terms. I joined one of her virtual health & wellness bootcamps (you know, to fulfill those fitness resolutions I could never stick to) and realized I was missing out on the magic the support of these other amazing women (just like me!) provided. I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere and knew I wanted to duplicate this sense of community, which is why I host monthly Bootcamps as well. 

Over the past year, the women in these groups have become more to me than just fitness pals. They've become my tribe. My endless support squad. My cheerleaders on good days and bad. They're women who immediately get me. Who are going through the same things as me. And having an intimate support system and accountability group like this has been the missing link I needed all along.

A lot of people, when I share what I'm doing, don't get how it's possible to form such strong bonds with women who I've never met. Women who live all around North American -- scattered in places like Illinois, Florida, Colorado, Washington and Canada to name a few. But when you spend a month, 3 months, a year working on finding your best self alongside a group of women like these, you can't help but form a bond unlike anything else. And man oh man does the motivation never end. 

I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for these groups. I've lost 15 lbs and actually been able to maintain it BEYOND January of last year (which is a first for me). I've formed a healthy relationship with food for the first time in years and I can honestly say that all of the things I used to deal with every single day -- the self bashing while staring at my body in the mirror, my debilitating anxiety, feeling just BLAH and unconfident -- all those things have disappeared and I've found the confident, radiant and energized version of myself that I never want to let go of. Because she freaking kicks ass.

So there you have it.

My 3 best tips for rocking those resolutions aka having the most kickass 2017 of all time. 

Quit settling for the status quo. Stop allowing yourself to go on automatic pilot all over again in a months time. Decide that from this moment forward, you will actively go after a life that makes you literally excited to jump out of the bed. 

Commit to a year of YOU. (And if you're worried about that making you selfish, giiiiirl, read this.) And I guarantee, you will end 2017 feeling on FIRE. 

Ok my lady, I wanna know what YOUR goals are for 2017! Let's hold each other accountable ;)

Share them in the comments below or message me -- I love love love getting emails hearing all about your life!

Happy New Year, my loves.

Xo Amanda