Do shakes, pills, and potions really work?

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Do shakes, pills, and potions really work?

HELL NO! 

Sorry, not sorry! 

I am sure there are plenty of coaches and trainers who won't agree with my strong viewpoint, but I am sticking by it.  Hitching your weight loss wagon to a shake, pill or potion might give you the quick fix you've been looking for, but it's likely that over time you'll grow old of the product or the product will fall to the wayside leaving you high and dry.  

How many fads have you gotten involved with, only fizzle within a year or two after it became popular? 

As a former quick fix shake-making, pill popping, potion brewer I sought out every option available to me.  I SPENT thousands - YES! THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS attempting to "quick fix" my weight loss only to discover hard work and commitment would be all I needed for lasting success.  

So before you submit payment for a 30-day supply of shakes or pills ask yourself -

WHY?

WHY are you throwing your money into a quick fix product when you know the real path is putting in the effort in the kitchen, with your workouts, and personal development?

Wanna know WHY you are still going to buy the quick fix?  It's because you don't want to do the work.  We all want the easy button.  Truth is, I've never read a weight loss success story that didn't involve blood, sweat, and plenty of tears.  In fact, that's what the best stories are made of. Not a product that is filled with sub par ingredients or hyped by already in-shape celebrity promoter.  

Even the contestants on popular weight loss reality shows have regained their lost weight and then some... why because the plan wasn't realistic to begin with - in fact nothing about the show was.  The proof is in my chia seed pudding that if you want lasting weight loss and wellness success you better get crystal clear on what it is you desire and plan for a bumpy ride. 

Harsh - I know... as much as I want to be all zen and meditative, I gotta call it like I see it. Lasting success happens with commitment and dedication to the plan; a plan that works for you based on your bio-individuality.  Within a few weeks of whatever plan it is you choose the honeymoon stage will dry up, you'll be tempted at every turn to give up and your WHY for transforming your life will be what drives you. 

So, if shakes, pills, and potions aren't the answer what is?  

The answers can be found by learning how to fuel and nourish your body using bio-individuality along with a bit of trial and error. Following a plan involves becoming radically realistic with yourself as to what your goals truly are, how much time you can dedicate to preparing your food, setting aside time for workouts, getting enough sleep and being willing to take action every day toward your desired outcome. 

Rather than turn to a quick fix (which we know won't work forever) you'll need to strip apart what it is you are doing currently and assess if the food you are eating and movement you are participating in will help in reaching your goals or put you on a path for sabotage.  

You can eat all of the chicken, broccoli, and rice you want along with bragging about the 100 burpees you do a day won't mean sh*t if you have a poor mindset and aren't willing to get your hands dirty and do the work.  

Next time you get ready to hit buy on a bag of shakes, bottle of pills or mix a weight loss potion think twice and ask yourself... if you've gone down this road before and haven't gotten you desired results... than maybe it's time for a new approach....just sayin'!

 

 

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6 Reasons WHY Working out in the morning is better than hitting the snooze button

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6 Reasons WHY Working out in the morning is better than hitting the snooze button

We are fully aware of the benefits to moving our bodies on a daily basics so I won't drill that point home too much.  It's understood that moving your body can help reduce stress, get your endorphins pumping and aid in weight loss.  Those things we can all agree on.  Now, it comes down to actually to taking action and making each workout a reality. 

We are all busy- it's the fact of life and sadly the reality of being an adult. But, "BEING BUSY" isn't a free pass for skipping out on the importance of making our health & wellness a priority.  And while I hate the quote that someone busier than you is working out as it feels cocky, it's true!

If you can't decide between a morning or afternoon workout - then don't!  Review your schedule to determine what works best for you.Personally, I've had greater success sticking to a morning workout routine than trying to get to the gym in the afternoon, if you still aren't convienced that working out in the morning is better than hitting the snooze button than scroll down. 

HERE ARE 6 REASONS WHY WORKING OUT IN THE MORNING IS BETTER THAN HITTING THE SNOOZE BUTTON

1 - Your body isn't mentally or physically drained from a long day of work and juggling a busy household

2 - It's less likely that you'll have to wait to use a piece of equipment in the morning than during high peak time in the afternoon or evening 

3 - Mid-morning is often a busier time in the gym and early afternoon into the evening so, you'll be beating the crowds. 

4 - Your metabolism will be boosted and energy levels are increased

5 - A bi-product might be increased productivity during your work day 

6 - Morning workouts are natural mood boosters

As I bonus, I'm sharing a few workouts to knock out first thing in the morning while the rest of the world is still sleeping: 

 

 

 

 

//photo credit: www.pixabay.com//

 

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RECIPE: KID FRIENDLY BANANA SUSHI

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RECIPE: KID FRIENDLY BANANA SUSHI

For most kiddo's sushi is a stretch, but these banana sushi rolls are a fun way to snack and play with chopsticks. Plus, there is a good chance you'll already have the ingredients in your pantry. Set up a banana sushi bar as an afternoon snack or for summer camp.  It's sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

YOU'LL NEED: 

  • A banana per snacker! 
  • Nut butter or melted chocolate of choice 
  • Shredded coconut and/ or mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: 

Peel banana and place on parchment paper.  Spread nut butter or melted chocolate over the banana and then top with toppings of choice. Slice, plate and serve with chopsticks or a fork ;) 

OTHER TOPPING IDEAS: 

  • Mini peanut butter or butterscotch chips
  • Rice Krispies
  • Sunflower Seeds

Really the topping ideas are endless - it's all personal preference to which flavor combination work best for you!  I'd love to hear how you top your banana sushi rolls! 

 

 

 

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I'm not vegan, I don't practice yoga, and I am still not sure about oils - so I can't be healthy - or can I?

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I'm not vegan, I don't practice yoga, and I am still not sure about oils - so I can't be healthy - or can I?

I'm not vegan, I don't practice yoga, and I am still not sure about oils - so I can't be healthy - or can I?

 

I'm calling bullsh*t!

It's so easy to become overwhelmed by feeling you need to follow one specific way of eating, moving and thinking to have weight loss success when all you really need is to be open and willing to embrace change. 

Thanks to social and mainstream media it can be quite overwhelming to determine which lifestyle is the right one to "choose" when striving for improved health.  There isn't a hard line in the sand that states you must be 100% vegan or paleo to be "healthy", attending yoga classes every day isn't mandatory to be "healthy" and you surely don't have to apply massive amounts of essential oils to be deemed "healthy". 

In fact, as a wellness advocate and someone who has been on this journey for five years and counting - my yoga pants have never been to a yoga class, I support those who embrace a vegan lifestyle, but this girl won't give up her love for BBQ, and let's just say I am dipping my toes into this idea of essential oils.  I'm more into lifting heavy, making sweat angels on our home gym floor and dropping an f-bomb right after I finish meditating or journaling. 

When I first enrolled and began attending online classes at IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) I felt that only path to being a successful coach and have success in my own personal journey was to become a plant-eating green juice drinking yogi who bathed in patchouli oil. The IIN community leaned toward plant-based lifestyles, but it wasn't a requirement merely a suggestion and until I learned the concept of bio-individuality I thought my days of BBQ were numbered. 

One of the biggest issues I have surrounding certain diets and fitness communities is that if you don't embrace the lifestyle to a T you are always waiting for the internet trolls to find you and burn you at the stake.  To be honest, there isn't ONE perfect diet or lifestyle on the planet and if a coach or product advocate is trying to tell you that their way is the only way... run!  

My theory has always been and will always be to do the best you can with what you have access to, what you can afford, and what brings you the most happiness. 

As a coach, it's my job to help you uncover what works best for you;  your lifestyle and your goals.  It's about designing a blueprint or a foundation that works FOR you - not against you. Using bio-individuality principles provides freedom and flexibility to pull from different "diets", lifestyles, forms of movement and spirituality to create a foundation that you can always call "home"

My lifestyle or bio-individuality foundation is a combination of several different practices and I don't feel any less healthy or connected to my wellness than if I were to lean toward a vegan - green juice drinking yogi lifestyle. Instead of feeling the need to go 100% in any particular direction -I've pulled what works and left what doesn't for someone else.  

MY FOUNDATION LOOKS A LITTLE LIKE THIS: 

  • My body thrives on protein and healthy fats - leaving out grains and legumes has improved my digestion and I stopped feeling sluggish. One could say I am paleo or primal 
  • I am dabbling in my spiritual path - I was born into a household that wasn't overly religious but would consider myself a Christian but strives to connect with the universe on a daily basis. 
  • I love cold brew coffee with heavy cream just as much as I love a green smoothie or acai berry bowl. 
  • Movement for me is a stress reliever and a way to challenge myself to push beyond the limitations I often oppose on myself.   I enjoy throwing around weights, making sweat angels and celebrating PR's with colorful adjectives!
  • Personal development has become a cornerstone for my personal growth and understanding of who I want to be. 

Am I healthy - your damn right I am!  

Oh, I almost forgot - I am falling in love with essential oils so I sort of smell like a hippie from time to time. 

When I begin working with a new client we spend a lot of time becoming crystal clear on what healthy looks like, feels like and means to them. Two clients can have a radically different vision of what healthy means to them and it's my job to help bring together all of the wellness puzzle pieces and create a foundation that will always be "home". 

Some of my clients have been SAD (Standard American Diet) eaters of fast and processed foods with little to no movement that want to clean up their diet and kiss the couch goodbye,  then I have others who want to incorporate more plant-based eating and gentle movements like barre or yoga into their lifestyle because lifting heavy weights and leaning toward a paleo lifestyle isn't of interest.  At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you label a diet or a lifestyle as long as you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. 

I do however only have one lifestyle that I REFUSE to get behind and will not support.  That is a lifestyle centered around highly processed nutrient lacking foods, excessive couch surfing, and a negativity mindset.  This lifestyle is often brought on due to overwhelm, stress, confusion, and hopelessness -- but fear not, if this you or someone you love and care about - their lifestyle isn't an ultimatum, it's a choice and with a little hand-holding and a kick in the a$$ they can be healthy too.  

Don't sit on the sidelines and let your health and wellness slip away because you feel like you need to have it all figured out.   Instead, try a new style of eating or a workout for a few weeks and keep what works and ditch what doesn't.  Find support, hire a coach (shameless plug), but remember you just have to willing to embrace change. 

 

 

 

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MY LOVE FOR SMOOTHIES started when...

I first began my health and wellness journey!  I was always running out the door and skipping breakfast.  

My day was already starting in the negatives because I was zapped of energy before I even got into my car.  

Rather than load up on healthy options, I headed straight for the drive-thru and sipped on a soda to kickstart my morning. 

Sound familiar? 

Ask yourself this series of questions: 

Are you ready to reclaim your health and vitality?

Are you tired being zapped of energy?

Do you wish you could lose 5+ pounds?

Do you wish you had more confidence when you walk into a room?

Did you answer YES to one or all of these questions?  If so, you're in the right place!  

I've created this 14 Day Done for You Smoothie Guide to take the guess work out of which smoothies to make and why.  You'll be armed with a shopping list, recipes, and a reference guide for making yourself a smoothie master in 14 days! 

As an added bonus you'll have a plan for kickstarting your weight loss, reclaiming your health, increasing your energy levels and a boosted immune system, you may even notice a vibrant and healthy glow to your skin in just the first week!  

This Done For You 14 Day Smoothie Challenge is for women just like you that want to:

Lose weight

Have glowing skin

Feel more confident

Sleep better

Get rid of any stomach bloat

Feel vibrant

and boost your immune system! 

Smoothies are the perfect way to get healthy!  You'll find yourself fuller and more satisfied throughout the day; long gone are the days of calorie counting or mid-day slumps.  

Are you ready to take back your health and give your body a brand NEW beginning?

In just 14 days, you can become the vibrant and empowered woman I know that you truly are! Are you ready to say YES to a Happier and Healthier you?

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SUMMER VLOG SERIES

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SUMMER VLOG SERIES

HAPPY 4th of JULY WEEKEND!!!!

I hope that you are enjoying the summer with your loved ones are soaking up Vitamin D, running through sprinklers and squeezing every moment out of this time of the year. 

If you haven't had a chance to catch up on my summer vlog series I've created 7 videos that give insight to what I do as a health coach and my stance on wellness. 

Here's a few episodes you might have missed this past week: 

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ISSUE 01: LIVEunboxed Wellness Magazine

I'm so excited to share the launch of my first ever magazine!  This morning I was my brain was bursting with this idea to create a magazine for my clients and potential clients.  Rather than sit on this idea for the next 6 months, I decided to sip on cold brew and design away!  

  • Is the layout perfect? Nope! 
  • Did I spell words wrong? More than likely!
  • Did I take action and bring this idea to life? You bet!  

Allow me to share the cover of Issue 01 of the LIVEunboxed Wellness Magazine! 

If you'd be so kind, leave a comment below with your thoughts on this first issue. I'd love to bring you more content on the topics you might be struggling with in your wellness journey or things you'd like to learn more about!  

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KETO: TWICE BAKED zucchini BOATS

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KETO: TWICE BAKED zucchini BOATS

Since it's summer and zucchini tends to grow like crazy you might find yourself with an overabundance of zucchini and making endless batches of zucchini bread gets a bit boring.  To keep with the twice baked, cream cheese, sour cream theme I am sharing a new recipe for zucchini boats today.  

Zucchini boats make for an awesome side dish that you can throw together in a few minutes and serve with burgers, brats, bbq chicken or as a stand-alone meal. 

YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING: 

3 - Medium sized zucchini to make 6 boats 

A pinch of garlic powder

4 - 6 pieces of bacon chopped

4 ounces of softened cream cheese

3 - 4 tablespoons of sour cream 

A generous handful of shredded cheddar cheese

TO ASSEMBLE: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cut ends off of each washed zucchini and cut lengthwise.  Use a spoon to scoop out flesh from the center of zucchini and place into a mixing bowl.  Once you've removed the flesh from all of the boats - combine flesh with cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, chopped bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese.  Mix well and fill each of the boats with the mixture and place onto a foil-lined baking sheet. 

Place into the oven for 20 minutes.  Closely watch the zucchini boats as the outside might become too soft.  You can broil the zucchini boats for a few minutes to brown the cheese on top.  

WAYS TO MODIFY: 

  • You could use vegan cheeses, cream cheese, and sour cream 
  • Add cilantro, chives or parsley to the mixture
  • You could call a protein source to the mixture as well. 

 

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GET YOUR GREEN ON (RECIPE INCLUDED)

Why are smoothies important for breakfast?


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and sometimes it just doesn't fit into our schedule the way it should. How we begin the day will determine how the rest of the day goes. It will determine if we feel energized or if we feel dragging with a lack of energy. What we put in our bellies is directly related to how we physically feel. So if you are a skip breakfast and grab the coffee mug morning person then this blog is totally for you.


We all need and crave energy. I know I do! Sometimes it is so easy to want to stop by the nearest fast food joint or even forget breakfast and just get through the morning on 1-2 cups of coffee for the energy needed to survive the day. I don't want you to just survive through the day though; I want you to thrive through the day. I also don't want you to go on the "crash and crave" roller coaster for the entire day. If you begin your morning with caffeinated coffee and sugar, you will crash, and you will be either too tired to make it through your responsibilities or you will be reaching for another cup of coffee to get through a few more hours.

Smoothies are another quick alternative to a fast breakfast that can help energize us throughout the entire day. When you toss in some greens, a little fruit, and a healthy liquid like coconut water you are bound to feel energetic and ready to take on the day. Starting the day with a smoothie also gives you well needed antioxidants which help protect our bodies from free radicals, and it is a great low glycemic start. Eating a low glycemic breakfast will help curb your sugar cravings for the entire day and it will also help with not crashing.

 

Next time you want a quick breakfast, try a delicious smoothie that will leave you feeling energized and motivated. A morning smoothie will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to produce natural energy and naturally boost your metabolism. So, what are you reaching for tomorrow morning? I know I will be pulling out my blender and getting ready for some long lasting energy.

My go to recipe is: 

  • A handful of spinach or kale
  • A half cup of diced fresh pineapple
  • A half of a cutie (clementine)
  • Two slices of lemon with the rind 
  • 2 scoops of protein powder

During meal prep combine all of the fruits and veggies into a ziplock baggie and place into the freezer.  **This simple step will save you a lot of time in the morning.** 

Add the contents of the baggie to your blender with a choice of protein (greek yogurt, whey protein powder, or plant based protein powder) with ice and water.  You can also use coconut water as an added boost. 

Blend and enjoy!

 

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I am thankful for who I used to be...

Two Sunday’s ago, we decided dusted off our paddleboards for the season and spent the afternoon on the water.  My absolute happy place.

With snacks and water packed all - it was time to throw on our swimsuits and hit the road.

Panic set in…

Truth is… I’ve been less than perfect on my diet and I surely missed more than a few workouts as of late, but I decided to throw on a two-piece anyway.  Let me add this, I am the sporty bathing suit type of girl - I would much rather keep everything in it’s place than spilling out and attempting to be something I am not.

Of course, I had to do a quick check in the mirror to see how my suit was fitting. As I closed the door to reveal our full length mirror I surprised myself.   Rather than see horror on my face, I saw a smile and in that moment I was damn proud of myself.

The last time I felt confident in a bathing suit was some time in my teens. Since the late 2000’s - I’ve rocked tankini’s or shorts & tee-shirts rather than expose myself and the entire beach to my less than ripped midsection, thick thighs and tan-less body. So even leaving the house in this two-piece with the intention of being viewed by the public was an accomplishment on it’s own. 

As we left the house with paddleboards, snacks and cooler in tow I couldn’t get the smile off my face.  I was proud, really proud of myself because endless amounts of blood, sweat and tears made this day possible.  On the way to the lake I thought about who I was in 2006 - bitter, stressed, tired, overworked, no self love and definitely no self care. A girl lost in her own world… scared to death to let go of who she was in order to see who she could become.

I had to give thanks to the girl I once was. It was her that led me on this wild journey of transformation. She taught me to find love within myself.  That my struggles wouldn’t be fixed with the purchase of a new designer bag and/or shoes. She taught to find inner peace through meditation, journaling and exercise. She showed me how to treat food as fuel rather than my only source of comfort.  As her layers shed, her inner strength grew in order to push through all of the mental, emotional and physical blocks that stood in her way. 

All of the emotions and thoughts I’ve carried about who I was always came with negativity and hate.  Never have I, given her any ounce of thanks… and today… I THANK HER!  

 

 

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Are you craving a lifestyle transformation and have been stuck in a hamster wheel turning to quick fixes, crash diets, and telling yourself tomorrow.... We should talk.  I used to be that girl that would opt for every fad diet, pill or potion on the market. I'd promise to get my sh*t together Monday and never did until I enlisted help. 

Working with a coach allows you the opportunity to transform in ways you might have never though possible and even if you aren't 100% ready, sometimes it's better to jump in and find your way than have everything planned out. 

I'm opening 5 Coaching Spots for my 12-Week Signature Coaching Program.  It's the only summer/early fall program that I will be offering and would love to help you transform.  Complete the contact form on my website or sign up for a coaching call.  Together, we will discuss your current challenges and determine if my style of coaching is right for you! 

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I AM SO GRATEFUL

I AM SO GRATEFUL

Now, I would like to leave you with a moment of gratitude. A blissful, and abundant thank you. I am so inspired by everything you've done for your body, and everything that you're going to do in the future. When you are well, you radiate love & light to everyone around you.

Never forget that your body loves you. I love you, for you are as much as part of me as anyone else. Please know that I'm always here for you - even if we haven't worked together yet. You can call me, email me, or send me good vibes any time that you like. I hope that, from this moment on, you live life abundantly.

Celebrate, rejoice, connect, gather, and embrace.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy every little moment.

 

 

// GET IN TOUCH //

Schedule a test drive coaching consultation with me

Work with me privately for 1:1 Coaching

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WHEEL OF LIFE (free workbook download)

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WHEEL OF LIFE (free workbook download)

When we feel out of balance it's often hard to see the areas of our lives that are screaming to be nourished, because it feels like our world is crashing down around us. We've become a society that loves to throw ourselves deeper into our work when our personal lives go sideways. Sometimes our work is the exact distraction that we need and other times it's a way for us to disconnect from what is really wrong. 

Personally, I was and am the type of creative that will throw herself into her work when her personal life takes a shit.  I didn't always know this about myself until I did the Wheel of Life exercise.  On the outside, it appeared that I had it all together, but on the inside I was a mess and didn't know how to dig myself out.  By uncovering the three areas that needed nourished the most, I was able to focus set aside time to give those areas extra T-L-C.  For me, my areas of struggle were are: physical activity, health, and spirituality.  

Above is my real time Wheel of Life.  

Personally my three areas that are in need of nourishment are: 

  1. Spirituality: I haven't been meditating or journaling daily. Since reviewing my Wheel of Life - I've been committed to daily personal development in the form of reading one chapter of a personal development book and boy has it been life changing!  I feel clearer throughout the day and in alignment of how I want to think and feel. 
  2. Career: I've been going through a power struggle between launching my coaching business and maintaining my photography business - my goal is to focus on the work that I love doing in both businesses and continue to focus on growth.  Additionally, I am planning to dedicate one day a week to 100% focus on each of the two businesses. 
  3. Creativity: I've fallen into the trap of only using my camera for only business purposes and not having a personal project.  I'm going to use my journaling and meditation time to let a personal project unfold organically.  

How it works.  The Wheel of Life is broken down into a series of wedges that range from personal to professional categories.  You'll place a dot within each of the wedges and depending on the location of the dot, your level of happiness or discontent will be indicated.  

Once you've determined your three areas that are running smoothly and well nourished, you'll dig into the three areas that are begging for your attention.  You'll also make a small action plan of ways to nourish those areas. 

For example, maybe creativity is suffering and selecting a personal project that you carve out 2 - 5 hours per week to work on will make you feel inspired again.  Or maybe you've let your physical activity fall to the wayside and an series of action steps for you would be to 1) determine the type of movement that you would enjoy engaging in 2) scheduling time for those classes or workouts and 3) actually getting off your butt and attending the class or workout.

By keeping the action steps bite sized and attainable you should be able to incorporate the tiny changes into your life without much hesitation or disruption to your life.  

A few tips: 

  • Do try to radically authentic when determining your dot placement
  • Don't try to fix every part of the wheel at once 
  • Enlist help in the form of an accountability buddy or coach
  • Revisit the Wheel of Life exercise once a month to ensure you are making progress 

Once you've downloaded the Wheel of Life freebie and spent time investigating the areas of your life that you are well nourished and those that are screaming for love... leave a comment below with how you plan to take action!  

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Wait, what? You’re a health coach?

Wait, what? You’re a health coach?

 

When I introduce myself as a holistic health coach, most of the time people are a little confused at what it is that I do exactly.

The simple way to explain health coaching: I teach my clients how to reach and exceed their health and wellness goals by providing support, motivation, accountability, and perspective. You’ll learn how to listen to your body, make minor changes that have a lasting impact, and create a foundation that your new baseline or new normal will be moving forward.  

Having a health coach is no different than a professional athlete having a coach to help them reach and exceed their goals.  The only difference is that my coaching revolved around their health and wellness.  

As a certified holistic health coach, I educate and support my clients to achieve their health goals through lifestyle and behavior adjustments.  Understanding that there is no size fits all approach to health and wellness we work together to create a plan that works you, your lifestyle and your goals.  

During our sessions, I am part-listener and part-advice-giver, but really encouraging and teaching you how to listen to your own body and decide what is right for you. 

Of course, there are plenty of tiny steps that we can take to make improvements in our lives from drinking more water, eating more greens, or transitioning to a whole foods diet opposed to relying on processed foods.  I will help and guide you into selecting better options, but I won’t push you into a specific way of eating or living.  

As a holistic health coach, I guide you into living an overall happier and healthier life.  We go beyond your relationship with food to include your relationships, physical activity, spirituality, and career.  For many of us having a healthy diet is only a piece of the puzzle and if we are out of sync or balance in the other aspects of our life, we aren’t able to be truly healthy.  In my mind, your health doesn’t stop at what you put at the end of your fork!  

To learn more about my 12-week coaching program click here ------> Signature Coaching Overview

// GET IN TOUCH //

Schedule a test drive coaching consultation with me

Work with me privately for 1:1 Coaching

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Foundation Foods 101

One of the commonly asked questions by my clients (on a daily basis) is what should they be eating. 

I truly believe that success in transforming one's body, mind, and spirit begins with how the body is fueled.

When we opt for greasy, fast foods our bodies tend to feel sluggish and heavy.  Yet, when we choose lean proteins, veggies, and fruits we feel lighter, happier, and energized.

Have you ever noticed the shift in your mind and body when warmer weather hits? It's because you are soaking up the Vitamin D and enjoying lighter, leaner fresh and grilled foods?

Creating meals with lean proteins, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats will help you feel lighter, leaner, and more energized year round.   To follow this type of lifestyle, you need to create a "go-to" list of Foundation Foods.

Foundation Foods should consist of nutrient dense items like leafy greens, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats.  You'll also want to stock up on protein options to accompany your nutrient dense foods. Some may argue that their idea of a "foundation food" is pizza, fast food, ice cream, and candy bars, I challenge you to ask yourself if those foods are making you feel and/or look the way you desire to feel and/or look.

Foundation Foods most likely won't be found in the aisles of the grocery store, instead you'll be shopping the along the outside aisles of the store.  By passing the bakery, pre-made meals, and ice cream sections.

Instead you'll be filling your cart with the following examples of Foundation Foods:

  • Protein: eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, and beef
  • Veggies: basically all veggies - with an area of caution surrounding corn
  • Fruits: enjoy all types of fruits
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Healthy Fats: avocados, coconut oil, and Kerrygold Butter

A few additional Foundation Foods to consider:

  • beans
  • rice
  • rice cakes
  • cottage cheese
  • yogurts - opt of greek yogurt

Once you're home - creating meals with these foundation foods is easy.  With limited ingredients you can create amazing meals packed with plenty of flavor!

 

 

 

 

 

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MEET ME -

Welcome to my little slice of the interweb.  Allow me to introduce myself; I’m Amanda – a food photographer and certified holistic health coach with a serious love for beautifully plated foods, travel, and great danes!

 

//MY STORY//

 

My journey to health and wellness wasn’t a life long dream.  In fact, my life long dream was to graduate from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and move to New York City and become a fashion photographer.  Graduate from AIFL did happen in June of 2003, but New York would have to wait, the universe had other plans for me.  Shortly after I returned to Pennsylvania I met my now husband and opened a fashion inspired boutique photography business that allowed me to travel the world.

 

Becoming a holistic health coach wasn’t part of the plan, again the universe had other plans for me. When my photography business opened in 2003, I had a lot of quick success and my business grew quicker than I could manage.  Majority of my days were spent sitting in front of computer for hours on end editing- often until the wee hours of the morning.  I ate, slept, and breathed building a photography business that I had dreamed of since I was a little girl.  Workouts had become non-existent with the exception of an eight to ten hour wedding day or running to the door to accept a FedEx delivery. My body functioned poorly on highly processed, packaged, carb-ified foods.  I used my business as an excuse, until the excuses had excuses.  Surrounded in a pile of designer duds that no longer fit, shit hit the fan, and I had an uncomfortable heart to heart with myself.

 

Several weeks later, I found myself walking into a local gym filled with shame, guilt, and embarrassment for the person I had become.  Hidden in layers of fat and excess weight, I knew the women that I dreamed of being somewhere inside.  She just had to fight like hell to reconnect with her. Twelve weeks later, my life changed.  My weight dropped, my business was restructured, and I was beginning to find me.  Two years later, my love for health and wellness continued to increase and I decided to enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and become a certified holistic health coach.  

 

//CURRENTLY//

I’ve merged my love for photography with health and wellness to create a lifestyle that I am incredibly passionate about and created a way to share my message and personal mission.  I want women to exist in their family photographs not by force, but because they are confident, strong, and feel incredibly beautiful with who they are on the inside as well as the outside.

 

On more occasions that I can count; clients or family members of clients have asked me to shove them in the backrow of a family photo, use a child or pet to strategically block their bodies, requested that I  “photoshop the hell” out of them, or flat out refuse to be in a photograph.  

 

Sadly, if this continues we will be missing from the photographs that our childrens, childrens will be looking at in the years to come.  We simply need to exist in our family legacy.  Yet, discovering how to improve our health and wellness in a way that suits our lifestyle, bio-individuality, and aligns with our core beliefs seems to be an on-going challenge.  My mission is to show women how to overcome chronic yo-yo dieting and yo-yo living by transforming their relationship with food, movement, and self care to support their health and wellness goals while becoming their own before and after photograph.

 

//MY COACHING STYLE//

My focus is to help my clients create a “new normal” for themselves and it can be whatever that means to them.  We work together to create a lifestyle that aligns with their core beliefs and desires.  While one client might thrive on a plant based lifestyle filled with yoga and green juices, another might excel following our Live Unboxed whole food paleo-ish lifestyle with crossfit/insanity style workouts.  I meet you where you are and guide, support, and motivate you to where you want to go.  Tough love is applied when necessary!

 

//PERSONAL//

When, I look at photographs of myself from four years ago, I am shocked at who I had become.  I was so unbelievably unhappy on the inside, but became a master of masking it on the outside. My transformation wasn’t  easy, nor did I expect it to be, but the outcome was so worth it to the point that I wish I would have done it sooner!  My entire life changed from a fifty-five pound weight loss, to a new career path, unbelieve amounts of happiness, and a lifestyle that aligns with me instead of one I thought I had to live to be happy.

 

My husband, Patrick and I “Live Unboxed” – which is our version of a whole foods paleo-ish lifestyle.  We can often be found in local cafe’s on Sunday mornings chatting up our upcoming week, planning our next adventure, or hanging out in the kitchen doing a bit of meal prep.  We are proud parents of two great danes, Jax and Winston.  We are stronger together today, because of the fire that we walked through.  

 

//PROFESSIONAL//

Graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale - 2003

Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition - 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creating a meditation space

I love being in my meditation space.  When I fold my legs and sit palms up, I feel instantly at ease, stress begins to melt away. And even if I were spiraling downward into a bad day, a few moments in my space can lift me back up again.

Regardless if you choose to meditate or not, you want a space that feels peaceful, scared and allows you to feel comforted.  Pick an area with natural lighting that doesn't require extra artificial light. 

Choose decor for your space that makes it feel beautiful - hang nice tapestries, place flowers somewhere near, fluff up your pillows, and keep lovely things around at all times. Your space should feel refreshing, bright, and joyous. Eliminate clutter, piles or unnecessary items to come into your space. 

It's also incredibly important to keep the good vibes in, and the bad vibes out. Vow to make your meditation space a “good vibes” only zone. Don’t ever go there to pout, to complain, or to mull. If you’re having a rough day, this is where you can leave all of that behind and fill yourself with positive intentions. Let the energy be light, and spacious, and open – not down in the dumps.

Don’t use your space for anything but mindfulness & meditation. You can find somewhere else in your home to eat or read, or talk to your friends on the phone. Allow your space to be sacred, and pure. Only use it to sit in silence, turning inward, and reflection.

sources:

1 // Dream Catcher Space

2// Boho Collective

 

 

// GET IN TOUCH //

Schedule a test drive coaching consultation with me

Work with me privately for 1:1 Coaching

 

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Starting a DAILY meditation practice

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Starting a DAILY meditation practice

I recently began an almost daily post-workout meditation.  This block of time has become one of my favorites when I tune out the world around and allow my mind, body, and soul to fully connect. 

If you think I've gone completely crazy - and am starting to get a little crunchy you might be right.  I've found such inner peace and calmness by taking the time to connect with the text I am reading, meditate and then journaling.  Allowing my feelings and thoughts to move from my mind to paper has been incredibly powerful.  I feel free from the heavy weight of my thoughts and more clarity each time I sit with my legs folded, palms up and eyes close. 

 

Maybe you aren't ready for mala beads and chanting just yet -  try dipping your toes into the meditation pool by simply picking a personal development book to read and journal.  Meditation is different for everyone - without set rules or guidelines.  To keep it simple start by reading one chapter a day and put pen to paper.  As you find your flow you can add-in longer journaling sessions, meditation, or yoga. 

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What's the deal with smoothies? (9 Tasty Recipes!)

SO WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH SMOOTHIES and WHY ARE THEY GOOD FOR YOU?

SMOOTHIES ARE: 

  • Chock full of vitamins, enzymes and minerals

  • Easy to digest, which mean optimal assimilation of your nutrients

  • Great for stabilizing blood sugar (you will see each smoothie here has a healthy fat, and fat is key for blood sugar stabilization)

  • A fabulous way to consume a variety of different fruits or vegetables at one time

  • Terrific for cleansing the body of toxicity

  • An easy way to add more fiber to your diet for optimal bowel function

  • Smoothies will give you more energy & are the best on-the-go meal known to man.

WHY IS BLENDING YOUR SMOOTHIE BENEFICIAL?

The health of your body depends on your digestion. When you blend your foods, you are supporting the digestion process. Your body does not have to work so hard to break down the nutrients as they are in a pre-digestible state.

Did you know that 80% of your energy is spent digesting and assimilating your nutrients? So why not support your body to do less work?

Instead of having to prepare and eat cup after cup of healthy greens or fruits, you are packing them into one nutrient-dense smoothie. 

HOW TO CHOOSE A BLENDER:

  • Vitamix is a super-powerful blender with a very strong motor that not only can blend smoothies, but also can make nut butters and even soups; however, it is an investment at around $499.

  • Blentec is another option similar to Vitamix and costs about $350.

  • Nutribullet is an amazing alternative as it costs only $99.

  • A blender at Costco, Wal-Mart or Target will typically cost you around $20.

Remember any blender is amazing because we want you to start drinking smoothies to support your body for ultimate health.

 

MAKING THE ULTIMATE SMOOTHIE

THE BASICS

  1. Choose the liquid – water, coconut water or a dairy-free milk

  2. Choose your greens – kale, spinach, parsley, Swiss chard, collards or lettuce

  3. Choose your fruit – banana, apple, berries, mango and more

  4. Choose your fat/protein – hemp seeds, hemp protein, nut butters, avocado, coconut oil, flax or chia seeds

  5. Superfoods – maca, raw cacao, bee pollen, shredded coconut, goji berries and more

  6. Choose a protein if you are using a shake as a meal replacement/pre or post workout shake

TODAY IS THE DAY TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

I was a chronic breakfast skipper thinking that by skipping the first meal of the day, I’d be cutting calories - instead I was confusing my metabolism causing myself to over eat throughout the day. Once I began to incorporate a morning smoothie I was able to ditch my need for a morning soda and started to see the scale drop!  

 

9 SMOOTHIES THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

 

STRAWBERRY BLISS

  • 1 cup coconut water or almond milk

  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries or any mixed berries

  • 1 banana

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1 Tablespoon hemp seeds

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or chia seeds

  • Pinch of cinnamon

  • Stevia or raw honey to sweeten

  • Ice (optional)

  • Scoop of vanilla protein (optional)

  • Scoop of Fiberwise (if not using flax or chia seeds)

A GINGERBREAD COOKIE

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or chia seeds

  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 banana

  • 1 cup of spinach

  • 1 Tablespoon of almond butter

  • Stevia to taste (optional)

  • Ice (optional)

  • Scoop of vanilla protein (optional)

KIDNEY NOURISHING SMOOTHIE (* Cucumbers are a wonderful kidney cleanser and provide you with bounds of energy.)

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1⁄2 large cucumber peeled and sliced

  • 1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or chia seeds

  • 1 Tablespoon raw, organic honey or stevia to taste (optional)

  • Ice (optional)

  • Scoop of vanilla protein (optional)

CRANBERRY SWEETNESS BLISS SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut/hemp or rice milk

  • 1 cup of mixed berries

  • 1⁄4 cup unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate

  • 1⁄4 avocado

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or chia seeds

  • 1 Teaspoon ginger

  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon

  • Ice (optional)

  • Scoop of vanilla protein (optional)

GINGERBREAD HOUSE SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut/hemp or rice milk

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice

  • 2 Tablespoons honey or stevia

  • Ice (optional)

  • Scoop of vanilla protein (optional)

CHOCOLATE BANANA BLISS SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 1/2 cup kale

  • 2 Tablespoons cashew butter or almond butter

  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey or stevia

  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao

  • Ice (optional)

  • Scoop of chocolate protein (optional)

MOOD STABILIZER

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries

  • 1 Teaspoon maca or moringa powder

  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter

  • 1 handful of spinach

  • 1 Tablespoon raw, organic honey or stevia to taste (optional)

  • Scoop of vanilla protein (optional)

NEED MORE NOURISH ENERGY SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut/hemp or rice milk

  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 1 banana

  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or chia seeds

  • Stevia to taste (optional)

  • Ice (optional)

  • Scoop of vanilla protein (optional)

MANGO DREAM

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup coconut water

  • 2 leaves kale or Swiss chard, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 avocado

  • 1/2 cup mango chunks (the freezer section is great for this)

  • Ice (optional)

 

 

LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME ONCE YOU BEGIN DRINKING YOUR SMOOTHIES – TRUST ME!

 

// GET IN TOUCH //

Schedule a test drive coaching consultation with me

Work with me privately for 1:1 Coaching

 

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RECIPE: KETO TWICE BAKED CAULIFLOWER MASH

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RECIPE: KETO TWICE BAKED CAULIFLOWER MASH

By far this recipe has become one of our go-to's and I can see this recipe being used at the holidays as an alternative to mashed potatoes. 

It's incredibly easy to make and packs a major flavor punch even for a low-carb recipe! We typically double the batch. 

RECIPE: KETO TWICE BAKED CAULIFLOWER MASH

You'll need: 

  • 1 bag of riced cauliflower or 1 bag of frozen cauliflower steamed and ran through a food processor. 
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese +1/2 cup for topping 
  • 5 strips of bacon crumbled or a generous handful or two of bacon crumbles + handful for topping
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder  
  • 1 tablespoon of chives or parsley

Directions:

Mix all ingredients into a baking dish or foil pan and combine well.  Top with extra cheese, bacon, and parsley.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cheese melts and lightly browns.  

Flavor profile should taste similar to a loaded baked potato or loaded potato soup - you may want to add extra sour cream 

 

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