Avocado, Garlic,and Zucchini Pasta!

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Yeah its been a long time, sorry lol… life happens.

Been craving pasta like a mofo so I made this and decided to share it with yall! YAY FOOD!

completely clean and simple long with all from natural sources. (Another thing I’m looking forward to doing and getting more into again … Holistic Nutrition! … Having our own house will help too!! – yes I have a lot of catching up to do lol… )

So if you only want the recipe, scroll below to see its amazingness! … but this Thanksgiving Evan and I got ENGAGED! .. Not that it was due time, I never have been the type of girl to ever pressure him either, not my style. Knowing that he’s my person and it will happen when its time to happen kind of thing =) Plus, I thought we were on mission get a house!! lol……

PS!! So excited for my own kitchen and to have a garden!

With the recent events that happened before, I completely have a rather simple perspective on life now. Not that life is simple for me, hell buying a house, planning a wedding, planning on going back to school and looking at a personal trainer certification…not to mention supporting Evan in his goals and life, and just juggling the day in general… things aren’t exactly what some would say would be “simple” … but the more I just let go of things I cannot change, the easier and “simpler” it gets!

So yes! I have A lot ahead of me, but I’m excited to take it on, to embrace it and truly go after what I want in life, everything from the career, love, education down to just having Netflix night with my soon to be HUSBAND.. ( wow that seems strange saying lol….) Bring it All on!

The reverse diet update is that I’m officially up to 1800 calories, losing weight with more food added into my life, I even got to introduce a small amount of dairy back in and I’m not dying!! That’s exciting right there! .. So looks like the metabolism is naturally and slowly fixing itself which gives me more excitement towards these next few years before I decide to have kiddos… ( yea.. I’m almost 27, in one week actually) and.. well I want babies! lol.

so anywho1 that’s what’s new and happening. Like I promised before, the recipe below!

ENGOY 😉

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What yore gonna need yo!

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/8 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
  • 5-6 zucchini or yellow squash ( I’m sure cucumber would be amazing too!!! – just saying )
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • splash of water
  • 5-8 baby heirloom tomatoes (cut in half)
  • fresh basil leafs
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 lime

How to:

  1. start your steamer and begin to spiralize your zucchinis, making “noodles”. put “noodles” into the steamer.
  2. in a food processor, ( I actually used my small 1 serving blender , took a little longer but it worked lol) place avocado, 1/4 of lime ( squeezed, obviously) a few basil leafs, garlic, onion, and water. the more water the more “liquid-y” it will be lol, I left mine pretty thick. =)
  3. Place some noodles on a plate, add a 1/4 of the avocado sauce into the noodles, mix in tomatoes, more basil leafs if you’d like and salt and pepper! Add in come lean chicken breast, shrimp, or any other protein .. or just eat it like it is!!
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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_

 

 

Goal Setting 101

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Why set goals? Well setting goals and actually keeping yourself accountable to those goals are two different things. So we’re going to talk about some basics you should always be thinking about when setting specific goals and then, how to actually keep those goals until your reach it. And then you learn to set even more or higher goals as each goal becomes achievable. =)

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1. Why? think of why you want to achieve a specific goal. Your why should make you cry….. and not necessarily cry in a bad way, but it should bring you happiness. It should make you feel excited and maybe a little intimidated too. But you also need to learn to channel that fear or since of intimidation into fuel to drive you to complete whatever your goal is. I’m a list maker so I like to make lists of why I want to achieve a goal…. I know it sounds really weird and maybe stupid to some but when you actually sit down and write out like 10 reasons WHY you want to achieve something, it makes you more aware of where you’re at and what you still need to do to accomplish your goal. I like to dig deeper too, rather than just thinking of basic things most people think of first right away. Example: My fitness competition; yeah I could wright I want to be skinny and fit and feel good…. but that’s a pretty “basic” reason why people think of when you set a goal towards health and weight…. instead I dig deeper. One of my reasons is to prove to myself that I can loose weight/be fit and healthy without having to worry about calories, to not feel like I’m obsessed with what I put in my body and to be confident in my own skin. To prove that I can do this the “right way” and not feel like I’m starving myself of feel like I’m doing something harmful to my body. To feel like I wont have to “suck it in” in every picture I take and to not have that constant worry about if I look “chubby”. …….. ok, that was more than one reason … but ya’ll get the drift. Dig deep, find reasons that you are afraid to tell someone or maybe afraid to admit. (also, when you have a list, put it somewhere where you will see it on a regular basis, it will remind you and you’ll be more inclined to strive for your goal)

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2. Set large goals and then mini goals to achieve that larger goal. Basically as I wrote above, you don’t want to just write “lose weight” . Yes that can be your larger goal, but make smaller goals to get there too because if that’s your only goal, your probably going to get frustrated when you only lose 5 lbs and then give up. So with in that goal make a “loose 5 lbs by _____” date. Or a “be able to run a mile by the end of the month” . And the more in detail you get the easier it is to actually start to see that goal taking place (this is called visualization… ) Start to visualize what you want…. sounds crazy but it helps.

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3. Reward yourself and be proud of everything you HAVE accomplished. when you meet each mini goal, reward yourself (preferably not with food) but maybe go get a pedicure …or I like to buy workout clothes so ill go get a new sports bra or something… but keep it small. Also have a bigger goal for when you accomplish that BIG goal, have a BIGGER reward. (mine for when I’m done with the competition is to get my first tattoo =D ) ….. Also, say you don’t lose that 5lbs the first week but you lose a pant size or you just feel better health and energy wise, recognize that and always be proud of what you have accomplished. Keep pushing towards your goal and it will soon come. Patience is a virtue.

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4. Make your goals SMART… most of you probably know this… but here is what a SMART goal is:

  • S       Specific
  • M     Measurable
  • A     Attainable
  • R     Realistic
  • T     Time-bound

So obviously it has to be realistic, you cant make a goal to be 6’5 and be a famous basketball player when you’re 4’11… its just not going to happen. You have to have a goal in mind and a plan of how you want to achieve it and then you have to set a date because … sorry but how many people set a goal at the beginning of the year to “be healthier” and then they are good for about 2 weeks and then give up…. that’s because their goal wasn’t set into action with the SMART goal in mind and they didn’t make a “plan” … its all about the plan and path you make….

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5. Make your goals POSITIVE! when writing your goals…. don’t write “I don’t want to be fat” …. that’s in a negative context. Wright them in a positive one and say ” I’m going to be healthy and fit”. Same with the way you think as well, don’t think a goal is unattainable because in all honesty you pretty much can do anything you put your mind to if you set the right goals towards that direction. If a goal seems unattainable at the time (and believe me I’ve been there) that is why you set the “mini” goals to help it seem  like that goal isn’t to far fetched. When I was a size 14 did I ever think I would fit into a size 5? Hell no! HAHA it seemed like that was going to take forever and in all honesty seemed impossible at the time which can be overwhelming… That’s because my thinking was in the wrong mindset and I was only thinking of .. “omg, I’m fat and I need to lose weight” Once I changed my thinking and started focusing on how fitness made me feel … (which was happy and full of energy) that’s when the weight started dropping off… and once it starts going… man its like a high. You start to get excited and you want to keep going, and then someone comments and you get this giddy feeling and feeling of pride and accomplishment and it just keeps continuing so on and so forth. Its your job is to keep setting those goals to reach new goals once you have achieved one.

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6. The buddy system. Do you have a buddy with the same goal or maybe a similar one? If not, FIND ONE! They are the best! I have build a friendship with one girl in particular (whose name is Amanda ironically haha)  through this whole journey and I know that if I didn’t have her this goal would not be the same. She was a bigger girl too and we first just started going to the gym together.. just to help us stay accountable and not give up. But as we keep dropping weight that’s when we decided to do the fitness competition together… so were both striving for the same goal. We hold each other accountable, we bitch to each other when were sick of drinking protein shakes and we still have learned to laugh through the whole process. We have both talked about it being too hard and wanting to pull out of the whole thing. But we continue to look at the bigger picture and realize where we have came from. We continue to share when we have reached one of our “mini” goals and/or just something positive and exciting happening in our lives. Needless to say, find someone who has the same or similar goal and it will make it easier not only with keeping yourself accountable but find someone with that same positive attitude towards it that can pull you up when you may be a little down.

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and most important reason to be fit is (drumroll please! )

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=)

Now quit reading and go set some goals!!

Tip of the Week # 11 Play with Your Food

Yup! You read that right! Play with your food! LOL.

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Ok, ok, … I don’t really mean it literately.. but what I do man is get creative, have fun coming up with your own recipes, or finding new ones online! I personally like to get inspired through blog, pinterest, instagram and do my own “twist” on it! (usually making it healthier!)

When it comes to changing your lifestyle, eating better or eating clean it can either get boring (because you feel like you eat that same thing over and over all the time) or it can be overwhelming because you don’t know where to start. Hell, you may even feel like you have to follow a specific plan to the T to get any results. (which usually isn’t the case).

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when it comes to clean eating, its all about using food for fuel. Your body needs food to keep it running just as a car needs gas to keep it running. A car that has premium gas, frequent oil changes and is taken good care of it lasts longer and runs better. Same thing with your body. A body that is fed a healthy balance of the nutrients it needs and is taken care of it functions better than a different body that is fed fast foods and processed crap all day.

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So when you look at foods and what “healthy” and not, think of it as fuel.

Is this going to keep me energized and going all day or am I going to experience a sugar crash at noon?

Is something or someone influencing this food choice? Is it good or bad?

Am I eating a lot of one food group (ex. Carbs/grains) and not getting enough of another (fruits/veggies)?

Am I actually hungry, or an I bored or stressed?

Am I feeling full and satisfied after one meal or do I feel like I constantly need a second helping?

All of these questions are something that you should be naturally asking in the back of your mind when you either are making a meal, planning one, or even considering eating something you know you probably shouldn’t be.4

And like I said, find new recipes and HAVE FUN WITH IT!!!

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Don’t loose your Motivation on Vacation!

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So just because this is supposed to be your “relaxing and calm” time to yourself or with the family doesn’t mean you can’t stay on track with your new and improved healthy lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, relax by all means but where ever you go I’m sure there will be plenty of fun activities you can do that will be  form of exercise so you wont feel like you’ve “fallen off the wagon” when you get back home.

You probably are going to plan some activities anyways, why not make them a fun workout too. =)

  • The Beach– Go for a nice sunrise/sun set run or even walk. Swimming. Paddle boarding. Swimming with dolphins. Deep sea diving, take a surfing lesson. Do some sunrise yoga. Set up a volleyball net and meet some new people. Frisbee. fishing (if allowed). Even building a sand castle will burn calories! Canoeing. Be a kid and go jump some waves.
  • The Mountains– Go for a hike, a run, or walk. Camping. Dirt biking. If its winter, Skiing, snowboarding or even sledding. Zip-lining. rock climbing. Canyoneering. (I like how I’m from Colorado and I can’t think of more….. LOL)
  • The City– Explore, walk, run, jog. If it’s a busy city they might have a race going on the week you’re there.

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Explore online different things in the destination you choose that you and/or family could do the week of your vacation. There is a few sites out there that are geared toward more physical activity and you can usually narrow down what you want to do by location and how many people will be with you.

  • Adventure finder.com
  • Groupon.com
  • afar.com

Plan ahead and look at different resorts. Do you want a resort with a gym? a pool? Some resorts have classes you can even take.

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You can get paid to lose weight! ………….What?!?!

Yup you read that right! You can actually get paid to lose weight! How awesome if that!?! (Its like the perfect world haha).  So there was a new Mayo Clinic study that had a test group earn $20 a month for hitting their target weight for that month, here’s the catch, if you didn’t hit that goal, you’d have to pay them. (that will keep ya on track!!)

What’s to earn money while you’re losing weight:

  • Shows like The Biggest Loser have incentives for those who lose weight at home every season. Check out their website just before the next season starts and make sure you sign up! You have nothing to loose.. (no pun intended) but the weight!

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  • http://www.dietbet.com/   DietBet.com its a betting game you play online! You have 4 weeks to loose $% of your body weight and whoever is the highest and/or meets the goal wins. You put in money at the beginning and I believe you can play against random people or create a team. But I mean its almost a race, and an incentive to meet people with the same goals, and maybe cheer each other on!

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  • http://www.healthywage.com/  Healthywadge.com lets you wager money for losing 10% of your body weight. They also have team based weight loss challenges.

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  • Use the App Gym Pact (its free) You set a goal for every time you “check in” at the gym or run outside. Win money for reaching a goal or target, loose money when you don’t loose or gain.
  • http://www.stickk.com/   StickK.com has you make a commitment contract to yourself and you can create your own goals, create teams, have supporters and come up with a “what happens if I don’t meet the plan” consequence.

 

Just a little Motivation! =)

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Its amazing what you can push yourself to do and all the thinks you thought were hard become almost a new beginning. You find a goal, you reach that goal and then you make another. You become your own self motivator and anything is possible if you put in the hard work, you keep a positive mind, you believe in yourself and you are confident in your self worth. Love your life and the skin your in, take care of yourself and always SMILE! =)