Things to Jazz up a Smoothie!

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I don’t know about ya’ll, but I like smoothies, especially when I can put all kinds of goodies in it and have it still taste AMAZING! They usually are grate for the morning when your in a rush to make something and you can just pour a bunch of berries into the blender add a little ice and almond milk and Ta-da !

Here are some ingredients you may have used before but there are also some others that most people wouldn’t think of putting into a smoothie! Happy Blending!! =)

Fruits – pretty much any but here are some favorites.

  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
  • oranges
  • grapefruit
  • cuties (tangerines)
  • pomegranate seeds
  • dragon fruit
  • kiwi
  • pear
  • pineapple

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Veggies

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Any greens
  • Carrots
  • Greens powder mixes
  • Algae
  • Beets
  • celery

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Fats

  • Chia seed
  • Flax Seed
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil or shreds
  • Nut butters – almond, sunflower, peanut, hazelnut etc..
  • shaved almonds or nut pieces (walnut, pecans, pistachios)

Protein

  • Protein powders (vanilla or strawberry is my favorite)
  • Tofu

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Other

  • yogurt
  • Almond / Coconut/ Hemp/ sunflower seed milk
  • cocoa or cocoa nibs
  • Spices – ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
  • pumpkin puree ( unsweetened)
  • Stevia – this is a miracle worker lol… if something isn’t sweet enough this is a sugar substitute that’s calorie and carb free and its from a plant!
  • Oats or oatmeal
  • Cereal and granola
  • Grits and quinoa
  • Dates, dried fruit, cranberries, raisins.

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Be someones Inspiration

So… Not sure how to even start this blog post, but I’m just going to say this.

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You are going to have people that support you and anything you can possibly dream up..and then there are those that .. well, just don’t get it. They either think you’re annoying for posting how awesome you feel after your workout, or seem to not want you to do well. ( or they don’t want to see you doing better than them as it seems).

Going from being bigger (see how I didn’t say fat ) to now being pretty fit I get a lot of inspirational stuff from tons of people, this is the part I LOVE and in all honesty, keeps me going at times. The letters I get from people I don’t even know, friends from high school and college, family and everyone asking for help or even telling me to keep on keeping on. lol. I love the random snapchats of peoples “healthy meals” they send me, I love the gym selfies telling me ” killed myself at the gym” … and I love that more and more people are realizing instead of being “annoyed” or seem put out by someone’s choices to be healthy ..but to learn how to embrace them, praise them for their hard work and maybe even join the club. I feel like we judge each other too much sometimes and I don’t see why we cant all just be ourselves.

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We as people like encouragement,  to be thanked and rewarded, to have that person by your side no matter what. Why not be that person, to be the inspiration. Sure my journey is my journey and will always be, I will always be pushing myself to new limits now..  but when you start changing other peoples journeys and they start looking up to you or they decide not to give up because you’ve inspired them. THAT right there my friends is what its ALL ABOUT and it’s such an amazing thing I cant or don’t know how to even explain it.

 

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And its kind of ironic too. Now that I’m not “big” anymore, I still have feelings of not being accepted. This is my own struggle which I battle all the time and an still learning how to handle. But its the opposite now. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and that people are looking at me because “I’m fat” and I don’t know what I’m doing… I have people look at me in the gym and assume “oh this is easy for her, she probably been small her whole life” I see them watching, staring or whatever you want to call it… but guess what it doesn’t matter….. I’m at the gym for me, the gym is my “me” time. Blare some music and do your own thing, don’t worry about what others are doing, how much they are bench pressing because … Who’s journey is this again ? Yours. LIVE IT.

There are those people that don’t know me and see the possibilities they themselves can make or have if they believe in themselves. There are those who do know me and basically have watched this whole process take place (and boy its been a few years- so don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t “come off right away” it wont… it took time to put it on, its going to take time to take it off. ) But to learn that piece of acceptance of yourself, to actually learn to love yourself and fall in love with the process that is taking place. To not be scared to fail, and learn from that failure, to get back up when knocked down and to not let other peoples opinions flood your mind with negativity … because guess what, they’re only one thing –  an opinion.

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And for those that “don’t get it” or annoyed with you and your journey, guess what, its not their life nor their journey so it doesn’t matter! They don’t need to understand why you are the way you are, if you are true to yourself and just focus on you and what you want out of YOUR life.. life will be amazing. People will walk  away, others will stay and enjoy the ride with you. =) promise you this.

Stay Strong my Lovelies! – always remember two things :

  1. Your stronger and more powerful than your think. Mind. Body. Soul.
  2. You’re beautiful, no matter what! =)

 

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Meal Prep 101

 

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So I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking me how to meal prep…. therefore! I’m going to show you how easy it is, the trick is to do it all at once.

Meal Prepping is a great way to stay on track, especially when you are low on time and just want to grab something fast. Our first instinct is to go to fast food or something simple when were in a rush right? … So this way, you’ll already have it made and set to go so therefore your diet and all the hard work you’ve already put in with trying to eat clean and workout doesn’t go down the drain.

So what it basically is, is preparing everything you’re going to eat for either that week or more (depending on how much you cook). I like to do my meal preps about every week or even twice a week depending on what days I have off work.  In a nutshell- its cooking in bulk and eating left overs….

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First things first though, you’re going to need a good variety of Tupperware.

Then, you may be asking…. “but what do I cook???”

Well pretty much anything that your diet calls for… My meal preps usually consist of these things:

– LEAN PROTEIN ( chicken,  catfish, tuna, tilapia, salmon, shrimp, beef (shoot for the leanest you can find) , turkey, game meat(deer, elk) protein powders … eggs and egg whites would be good too. Hard boil them, it will make it easier too. )

– VEGGIES ( pretty much all is accepted. I like salads with different green blends, mixed veggies (frozen or fresh) zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus…. you get the drift…)

– COMPLEX CARBS – Yams, sweet potatoes, brown and wild rice, quinoa, couscous, Oats, Whole wheat bread, beans.

– FATS (almonds, cashews, pistachios, avocado, coconut, walnuts, peanut and almond butters, flax, chia, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and oils and oil based dressings. )

– FRUIT – obviously you don’t have to “cook” these..  (pretty much any, Berries, apples, banana, peach, pear, orange, strawberries …etc. )

DAIRY- I don’t eat dairy for the most part, it makes me sick… every once in a while Ill have a Quest bar which has Whey protein isolate in it and I seem to do fine. If your going to add dairy, pick these! ( Low fat mozzarella, low fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt (shoot for plain and add your own goodies!), low-fat milk and creamers for coffee and whatnot  )

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Now that we’ve got the basis of whats pretty much “healthy” and whatnot, how much do you cook? ? ?

Well that all depends on how many days your prepping for. You can do an entire week or a few days. Up to you. Best part of this way of eating (notice I didn’t say diet) is that you DONT STARVE and your constantly eating to rev up that metabolism to ultimately .. lose weight or gain muscle. You ideally want to eat every 3 to 4 hours so that makes about 5-6 meals a day. Now these meals .. since there are more than your average three, are going to be smaller in size, but that’s ok because every 3 hours your going to eat more.

Here is a basic every day meal plan for me currently.

Meal 1: Oats with 1 banana

(this is the time I workout usually)

Meal2: Protein Shake with a piece of fruit

Meal 3: 4oz grilled chicken, 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup mixed veggies

Meal4: 4 oz fish, Big salad with as much veggies as I want. 2 tbsp. oil based dressing  (you can add in a complex carb here if you’d like )

Meal5 : 4 oz turkey, 1 cup veggies (add carb if wanted)

M6: Protein Shake

SO in example I really only need to “prep” 3 meals per day. The oats and shakes take like 2 minutes for me to make on the spot … So when prepping keep in mind how much you actually need to make. Now I’m not saying to follow THIS plan, this is just an example .. Do what you want, make it fun, add in some fricken cottage cheese ( man I miss that stuff haha) and make it YOUR meal plan and make the food towards Your Goals!!

So basically cook like your having a party or barbeque haha. Light up the grill and grill up some chicken and turkey burgers, meanwhile while that’s going, cut up salad and veggies and also have either some rice on the stove or a few sweet potatoes in the oven. Its really quite simple, just start cooking and see how it ends up. Use different spices so things don’t always taste the same or seem bland. (I like Mrs Dash a lot because its salt-free yay!)

Put it all in Tupperware and you can even mark what day they are for on the containers if you want. The more organized you are the easier it gets. Preps usually only take me an hour (that’s 4% of my day) .. You have time, just find or make the time =)

Also, get creative, find new recipes and learn to have fun with it =)

HAPPY PREPPING!

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ps. I do a lot more “prepping” and what not on my instagram! FOLLOW ME! @amanda_fit_

 

 

Resistance Band Workout

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So this was requested by a friend and a few other people… its great to do at home or … basically anywhere, and best thing, you only need one thing! A resistance band. .. I also tagged in some easy cardio moves in between each exercise too . ENJOY.

  • ARMS

– Arm Curls – Place band hip length apart under both feet (making band even) and then slowly raise band creating a curl motion.

3 x 25

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– 30 jumping jacks

– Chest Press and Row – You might need 2 bands for this depending how long your resistance band is or which kind you have. But tie a knot in the middle of the band and stick in-between the door (I find the hinge to be easier than the handle side)

PRESS- With slow motions, standing away from the door you’re going to have arms extended out so your making a T and slowly move them inwards towards your center. Keep a slight bend at the elbows. 3x 20

-20 mountain climbers (20 on each side… don’t cheat! )

Row- Leaving band in door, face the door and keeping your arms in and elbows close to your side, pull band in towards you, stopping with your wrists right by your ribs.   3 x 20

 

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– 40 crunches

– Triceps Extension – Placing band under foot, With the band mostly behind you, keep your elbow in towards your face and extend arm toward the sky. repeat on each side. 3 x 15

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– Run in place for 1 min

  • LOWER BODY

– Squat Rows – this will work booty and arms! =) put band around something or in between door is fine too, stretching the band out about as far as it can go, lower yourself into a squat and extend arms out , stand up and bring arms into that classic row pose.

Want more of a challenge? – Row while your in the squat position! =)    3×30

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– 30 squats

– Kick backs – If your band isn’t long enough to be held with both hands, tie a loop in one end to put your foot in and hold it with one hand. Start with both knees on ground and slowly extend one leg back as far as possible and then bring back in to starting position. 3 x 15 on each side. Also at that extended position, lower toe towards ground, and raise it back into the air keeping that extended position the whole time, repeat on other side as well. 3x 15

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– Hip Thrusts – Making the band as tight as your can while laying on the floor, raise hips off floor squeezing your butt muscles as you come up. Hold for 5 seconds and then lower. 3x 20 … Also, Another thing your can do is stop in mid air with hips elevated and thrust your hips (yes its a bit awkward .. but your butt will love your for it) =) 3×15

– 20 lunges on each side

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-50 second wall sit

 

 

 

 

 

Stop making excuses

So I felt like this was something I needed to write because my boyfriend caught me cheating on my diet last night and what did I automatically do? .. Got defensive and started making excuses… We’re all human, we all do it to some extent the real thing is to understand why and to see what it will do in the long run, and to realize how important your goals are to you.

” The first step in achieving your goal, is to take a moment to respect your goal. Know what it means to you to achieve it.” Dwayne Johnson (The Rock)

 

 

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So everyone has done/said it. Evan I used to think some of these things and still try to justify something when I know I’m only sabotaging myself haha… … and made excuses for why I was doing what I was doing only to regret it later on … why??? . Its only human I think and its natural too, but with that being said, were going to actually stop and think of WHY we do this to ourselves and actually realize that what we’re telling ourselves are truly only one thing…. an excuse.

So here are some main ones I’ve heard and even said too …

  • I don’t have time : O my GOSH! Who does anymore? I said the same thing for many of years…. finally, my Jr year of college, 18 credits full time, working 2 jobs going from 4 am to 9 pm every day pretty much …. found the time. The key is to “find” the time, if you want it, you’ll find the time, just like you found the time to watch that favorite TV show. You have to learn to carve out time for the important things to you, start with those and then continue to do the less important things… like a to do list. Put it in your planner like its a conference for work or on your calendar so its there to remind you that it IS an priority …. you don’t have to workout for hours on end either, nor do you have  to go to  a gym. You can workout at home, take your kids to the park and workout while they play or even play with them. Say they ride their bike to the park, ride yours too, or jog by their side, you have to find ways to squeeze it in and pretty soon it will be one of the most important things you make time for! =)

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  • Its a special occasion! ……. yes it is! Maybe you’re at a wedding or a baby shower and everyone is celebrating and there is all this “not so healthy food” staring at you in the face. (Been there!) So think about it, just because its your birthday or someone else’s, doesn’t mean to over-do it… yea sure go ahead and have a piece of cake but keep in mind how you’re going to feel in the end if you do overdo it, and pig out all day with the excuse of “its a special occasion” … are you going to feel guilty the next day? Are you going to feel sick because your body isn’t used to foods like that anymore? Is it going to be harder for you tomorrow to get motivated to get your booty in the gym? Just take a step back and ask yourself what you want, what your goals are and if your going to let your food addiction take over and continue to make excuses for you….

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  • I don’t have motivation or I cant seem to get going:  yea it can be a little hard finding that one thing to get your butt kicked into gear, there are days when I don’t want to get out of bed and go to the gym, not even gonna lie, but then I realize what I’ve promised myself, what I’ve worked so hard for and how far I’ve come and I refuse to let the negative thoughts in mind take over and tell me otherwise. Plus I know deep down I will feel better if I just go do it instead of doing what again? Oh yeah making excuses not to go.

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  • Your young, I’m older it will be harder for me… you know what I have to say about that BLAH BLAH BLAH.. quit your bullshit. If you actually did some research, you’d come to find out that exercise is actually really good for older people (you should see how many grandpas and grandmas I have at my gym!!) How is it good you may ask? Well to start off, it helps with things like flexibility and muscle loss, along with preventing things like osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes and soo much more. Plus the people I usually hear this from are like 40 years old… your not 90.. but if you were, I’d tell you the same damn thing. Yeah sure your metabolism slows as you age yes, but that doesn’t mean give up or don’t even try.

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  • If I deprive myself of this __”enter favorite food here”____ I’ll just eat more, or binge on it later. ….. ok so let me get this right…. you’re already planning on failing? Or are you just saying that so you can have your favorite fast food meal? This one hits home for me because I personally said this to myself ALL the time. When you actually read that sentence over again you start to realize how silly that sounds, your making a choice to eat whatever it is you want, its not like its a sacrifice, its not going to kill you to give up that Cold Stone or Taco Bell… your making it sound like its going to be the end of the world if you don’t get some junk food in your system. lol. Sure, hae a small treat, but no you don’t need one everyday, nor every week..

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  • I don’t want to go alone : Understandable, but who said you had to? See if your spouse will go with you, or even a friend who may be in the same boat… or even find that friend who DOES go to the gym all the time and see if you can go with them, they will probably be flattered and show you some great workouts to do to start out with. The buddy system is always nice because it keeps you going, it pushes you to go when you don’t want to. I know when I was going with a friend when I first started it helped because there were so many days when I didn’t want to go, but knowing in the back of my mind knowing she was going to be waiting for me there .. I didn’t want to A. let her down or bail on her… and B. knowing she had the same general goal, and she was doing it.. that means I could do it to …damnit!

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  • I’m too fat – ummm did you just hear the words that came out of your mouth? FIRST and foremost YOUARE NOT FAT- YOU HAVE FAT… you also have hair, are you hair? You also have eyelashes, and fingernails, and toes… are you any of those things? Nope! Your a real person with real feelings and a soul, you have insecurities, and accomplishments, and everything in between. So… first things first, stop calling yourself “fat” because you’re not making it any better by calling yourself names are you? Are you accomplishing anything by that? Honestly… … Next, just like the whole age excuse, having extra baggage isn’t an excuse to give up either. Sure it will be harder, but if it was easy everyone would be doing it. Start slow (depending how overweight you are).. things like walking (even if its to the end of the block and back) is going to better than doing nothing. Once you stop the self loathing, pity parties and possibly some self hate (sad to say)… decide to dig deep and realize where your at today, and how you’ve gotten to where you’re at. That’s when you’re going to either realize its time for a change or your going to just continue to be in the same rut you’ve been in for the past however many years. You have to make the decision and you have to change… you have to find that inner strength.

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  • I don’t know what I’m doing, or I feel like I look stupid : …..there comes a time where you just have to say screw everyone else lol… you have every right to be working out as the next person. Sure they may be skinnier, or fitter, or hell they may even be bigger than you. . . . EVERYONE has a right to make themselves a better version of themselves. I personally know the feeling of being intimidated by the gym, when I first started out I had a free week pass at 24 hour…and I hated it.. I hated the looks I got because I felt like the “fat” girl at the gym,  I hated all the mirrors everywhere staring at me reminding me of what I had let myself become. But in all honesty, I realize now that all those feelings I was having were more of my insecurities with myself. I seriously doubt that the fit girl running her little ass off cared if I was there, much less that I couldn’t keep up with her. Now! With that being said, I’m actually one of the fitter people at my gym now (amazing feeling when your realize that!!!) When I go to the gym, I see all kinds of people, and I have friends there too… I have a few younger girls that have just started off, and a couple old dudes with their knee high socks lol, but the point is, everyone is different, and everyone has different goals. You have to get it out of your mind that everything is a competition at the gym. I don’t care if the girl next to me is running slower or even faster, she’s at a different level and she has different goals. Same thing with the buff dude lifting weights… I will lift what I can lift and if it doesn’t measure up to your 50lbs dumbbells … well like I said before… screw you…. I’m here for me not you. < that’s the mindset you need.

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  • I had a busy/ crappy/ amazing day, I deserve a treat! : sure a treat once in a while is ok, but don’t let it always get the best of you. And you don’t always have to reward yourself with food either. Get a cute new outfit, or go get a pedicure… there are plenty of other ways to reward yourself than food. Think of what it took to get here, don’t sabotage it with a gigantic ice cream cone… Along with that, if you had a crappy day, its just going to be filled with guilt after you eat what your craving anyways… Done let your goal slip away because of frustration or anger.

 

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Turkey, Avocado and Tomato Sandwich

Made this today and it was A-MAZING!

You’ll Need:

1 sandwich thin

1 cup mixed greens of choice

1 small/med tomato

1/2 avocado

spouts

…and anything else ya wanna add … after I ate it I thought of adding onion next time =)

  • Use the avocado as your “dressing” or “mayo” substitute and then just pile on the rest. I ate the whole tomato and had some on the side … its all up to you. Enjoy!

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