Tuesday, April 14, 2015

16 Ways to Spice Up Your Oatmeal

It’s common knowledge that oatmeal is one of the “safe” foods to eat while dieting. Even in my own transformation, I remember religiously eating my oats and egg whites every morning for breakfast. What I also remember is the desire to turn those oats into something much more aesthetically and tastefully appealing. 

'Oat-Cakes' pictured above — one of my favorite breakfast items to make.

Oats are a great source of B-vitamins, as well as a premier source of carbohydrates, which are needed to fuel the body for activity and the brain for thinking. Oats and quinoa both help to keep you feeling full, since they’re higher in fiber. And, despite their high count of carbs, they are extremely low - almost none - in sugar, our arch-nemesis. ;)

Instead of sloshing the daily grind of oats made with hot water or milk, try some of the following Oatmeal Mash-ups for the ultimate breakfast, sure to light your metabolism for the rest of the day.

Savory Oat & Egg Muffins
If you’re not up for something sweet when you awake, try using the oats as a crunch-factor/filler for an egg muffin to-go! In a mixing bowl, blend 1 cup oats, 2 tbsp flax, 1 carton of egg whites (or a dozen), 1/2 cup chopped peppers/onions, 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, 1 cup spinach and garlic/salt/pepper to taste. Once all ingredients are blended, pour the mixture into a greased muffin tray. Bake at 325 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden on top. These are great to freeze/refrigerate, so you can grab one on-the-go with an apple or other piece of fruit. 

Quinoa-Berry Breakfast Duo
Opt for a whole different grain. Quinoa is a complete protein and is packed with nutrients to keep you feeling full and prevent your blood sugar from spiking. Soak your quinoa with part hot water or unsweetened almond milk, similar to how you prepare oats. However, add a teaspoon of cinnamon, stevia, vanilla extract, and 1/3 to 3/4 cup oven-roasted blueberries (tossed with coconut oil/cinnamon), and your mouth will be watering for days. Make for one or prepare in bulk in the crockpot.

Oat-Cakes
Grind up your old-fashioned oats into oat flour (with blender or food processor). It takes less than two minutes. Use 1/2 cup oats, 2 tbsp flax seed, cinnamon/stevia to taste and 3 egg whites. For an added protein bonus, toss in 1/2 scoop protein powder. Mix in a bowl, and cook over griddle like pancakes. Drizzle with some sugar-free maple syrup like the kind by Walden Farms or mix half of that with 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter, and top ‘em off. The amounts above make for 1 serving (about 3 small pancakes). 

For some easy add-ins to your normal oatmeal routine, check out the list of super-flavor ingredients below. Be sure and use my discount code at Vitacost.com to get $10 off.

Assorted Extracts: vanilla, almond, coconut maple, etc. - Just because a recipe calls for vanilla extract doesn't mean you have to use that particular flavor. Experiment and have fun! Stay a while on the baking aisle, and look at all the glorious flavors abundant in extract form. Change it up, mix 'n match… just don't add too much. While they're very low in calories (an entire teaspoon of vanilla extract has about 10 calories), overdoing it can give your food an alcohol-y flavor! Yikes!

Fresh or Frozen Fruit - This will have you feeling so fresh and so clean, clean! I especially like to add fruit to my oats when I make them in the crockpot. It's so easy! You can add frozen and use less water, or fresh too. Cook it with chopped peaches, apples, pears, figs, dates, berries, or wait until they're cooked, and top it with fresh varieties. The calorie count varies depending on the quantity and variety, but everything in moderation.

Protein Powder - If you're looking to add lean muscle mass, you're familiar with whey protein powder. This add-in is especially important if you feel hungry midmorning. Your morning oats will last you a lot longer with a spoonful of protein powder! Look for kinds with 0-2 g sugar and 100-120 calories per scoop. A 2-tbsp. portion is all you need -- about 35 calories, 0.5g fat, and 6.5g protein. Try vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter cookie... the choices are endless!

Powdered Peanut Butter - Peanut butter, to me, is heaven. And so is this PBslim by Vitacost.com! It's made from defatted peanuts, so you don't have to worry about the typical 16 g fat and upwards of 200 calories per 2-tbsp serving. A 2-tbsp. serving of powdered peanut butter has about 50 calories and 1.5g fat.

Almonds or Pistachios - Instead of peanut butter, add the real thing. The heart-healthy fat count in almonds and pistachios may actually help you feel more satisfied. Still, add these nuts in small doses, 'cuz the stats do add up. A quarter-oz. serving is the perfect amount, with 40 calories and 3.5g fat.

Mashed Banana - One of the easiest ways to sweeten up your oatmeal and make it creamier is to you add some mashed banana. A quarter-cup adds 50 calories and 1.5g fiber. Add a little cinnamon and you're done.

Canned Pure Pumpkin - Puréed pumpkin adds fiber and will make your oatmeal thick and creamy without a pumpkin pie flavor — unless, of course, you add pumpkin pie flavoring like nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. A quarter-cup serving of pure pumpkin adds about 20 fat-free calories and 2g fiber. Just be sure to get the kind with only "pumpkin" listed on ingredients, not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling, which is higher in calories and sugar.

Unsweetened Cocoa - For those of you who don't like chocolate, watch out. If you do, then you'll love adding unsweetened cocoa powder to your oats. Each tablespoon of the powder has 15 calories, 1g fat, and 1.5g fiber. Don't forget to add a little stevia to really bring out the flavor.

Egg Whites - Like you saw in my go-to recipes above, liquid egg whites are one of the easiest ways to dress up your oats. Stirring liquid egg whites into the mixture while it simmers gives you a slightly larger serving with extra creaminess and a nice protein boost! A quarter-cup adds about 30 calories and 6.5g protein.

Sugar-Free Maple Syrup- A drizzle of this sugarless sweet stuff will perk up your oats and your mood in the morning. My favorite brand, Walden Farms, comes in several flavors like maple, chocolate, caramel, blueberry and strawberry. Swirl in 1 tbsp. for 0 calories and 0g fat.

Nonfat Plain Yogurt - I actually prefer this one on top of my oats instead of mixed in. Layer some yogurt on top of some chilled oats for an extra-creamy, whip-like experience. Sprinkle with cinnamon/stevia. Mmmm! (You can also just add a dollop on your hot cereal.) Awesome! A 1/2 cup has about 80 calories.

Sugar-Free or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips - This one's for my chocohaulics ... Because what makes the morning more bearable than knowing you're eating chocolate for breakfast? A little goes a long way with these lil suckers. Add a teaspoon for around 25 calories and 1.5g fat.

High-fiber bran cereal - You can totally add cold cereal to your hot cereal. Yes, it totally makes sense. And once you try it, you will agree. Look for high-fiber, low-sugar varieties. Cold cereal adds a crunch-factor when sprinkled on top of your oatmeal, not to mention a major dose of fiber. A quarter-cup on average has 30 calories, 0.5g fat, and 7g fiber.

For more recipes, workouts and wellness tips, follow me on social media (links above) and view my other services

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How to Finally Make Peace with Your Body


A few weeks ago, I survived a week locked in a lodge with my family. Some may call it a vacation. Others may call it a question of one's sanity. Nah, I'm just exaggerating (one of my many flaws). But, really, my spring break vacation began with a series of physical and emotional challenges.


Eight of us piled in a van for 18 hours to Breckenridge, Colorado, where we planned to snowboard. After a day of falling on my rear, I traded in my board for skis. That same day, I had to trade my pants for a new pair because ... well, let's just face it. Mine were too tight. To top off that day, I woke up to a negative pregnancy test, of which was the third one I'd taken, only to confirm my suspicion that my body was failing me again.

For a girl who resists change and resists failure (with everything in me), I was not having such a great first day of vacation. In my mind, I saw myself as someone who wasn't good enough to pick up snowboarding and wasn't thin enough to fit into a pair of pants I wore only one year ago. The facts of the matter are: 1. I'm a WAY better skier, and actually, I skied faster than anyone else in our group. And 2. All of these squats I've been doing have actually worked. Over the last year, I've turned my back-with-a-hole-in-it into a bootylicious butt. 

My experience was just confirmation in that we tend to see ourselves through the most critical lens. Instead of seeing my body as stronger, faster, curvier and in my husband's eyes, more beautiful, all I could see was that I was bigger. And that I must be worse because I'm bigger. Actually, my waist is the same size. My butt's just bigger. And then, I remember that's what I've been working on all year, so obviously, pants will be tighter. Duh!

Although the heartbreak of still not being pregnant is a little heavier, it's one I'm learning to bear in hopes that God will provide in His perfect timing. Every time a negative thought crosses my mind regarding my body and the fear of not having children, I recall how God has brought me through other painful times. When I am weak, God is strong. 


Summing up that afternoon with some very emotional tears and realizing how easy it is to fall back into a posture of self-hatred, I finally chose to enjoy the rest of my trip and appreciate the health of my body. Not only has my body gotten stronger physically, but the fact that I could bounce back like I did was proof that I've gotten stronger emotionally. With the support of my faithful husband and family, we rallied together to descend down black diamonds and zoom through half pipes. On our long and quiet drive home, I reflected on several lessons I learned.

1. Rest before Vacation. Recreation on Vacation. God shows us the value of rest in creation, when he rested on the seventh day. To me, this indicates that rest needs to be a part of our daily lives. Unlike my initial view, we can't wait until we have a week off of normal routines/work to rest. We must learn how to integrate balance and rest into our daily lives. Vacations are meant for fun and adventure. If we want to relax on vacation, that's different. I feel like relaxation is simply an attitude that you can maintain, not necessarily a lack of activity. I learned that it's better for me to try to integrate more rest periods from my normal schedule, so that I don't feel like the recreation part of vacation is stealing my energy — or like I'm going to have to pay for it later.

2. Work What Your Momma Gave Ya. When I traded in my board for skis, I'm not going to lie, I felt a little disappointed in myself. After some deep thinking, I realized that I could care less if I learned the skill of boarding ... what I really feared was other people's disappointment in me for not getting it, or for giving up. I remember my husband Micah grabbing me by the shoulders, looking me square in the face, and saying, "Babe, I don't care if you snowboard or ski or do nothing at all. I just want you to be happy and have fun. That's what makes me happy." As sappy as it sounds, I think it finally clicked that I needed to stop trying to impress everyone else and start trying to enjoy myself — my body and soul. I started embracing my ski skills and before I knew it, I was climbing to the top of Peak 6 with the GoPro on my head like a rockstar. Boom! It felt good to finally be free of the pressure to be the best. I started thinking about other areas in my life where I need to have the same change of perspective. I'd encourage you to focus on your strengths and learn to rock them too. In your fitness life, it may be that you've got long, lean legs and are insecure about your tummy... dude, show off those legs. Maybe you've got a bubble butt and have a hard time finding jeans to fit ... I bet your butt looks good in some leggings, eh? Instead of focusing on what you hate about your body, choose to see what you like and then rock it.

3. Fuel Up and Become an Intuitive Eater. When I got home from Colorado and resumed my workouts, I didn't feel like I was playing catch up. Although I hadn't picked up a dumbbell in seven days, I had been moderately active, getting in a light sweat each day. More importantly though, I had maintained a healthy nutrition, focusing on vegetables and lean protein. That being said, I didn't count calories or think about every little thing I ate. Instead, I tried to listen to my body on what it was craving. I remember one night, I really wanted a burger. That same night, I ate a burger with lots of veggies and half the bun. Normally, I'd beat myself up about it, thinking that I could have ordered "leaner," but instead, I was satisfied and didn't overeat. Throughout the week, I tried to follow my senses. Since I fueled my body correctly, I was able to bounce back in my workouts and maintain my lean muscle mass post-vacation.

4. Attitude is Everything. One of the most important lessons I learned early on in marriage was that love is a choice, not a feeling. I should say I'm still learning that .... We have a choice to change our attitude despite our feelings. Although I felt like having a pity party after boarding busted my butt every three seconds (literally) — and that was just on the bunny slopes — I told myself I'd give it until the end of the day before I gave up. When the end of the day came, and I still wasn't having fun (or rather making everyone else's trip horrid too), I changed my mind about what it meant to turn in the board. It wasn't giving up; it was simply changing gears. When my pants wouldn't snap and I feared I'd suddenly ballooned out like Violet on Willy Wonka, I chose to remember the gains I'd made in the gym and the womanly shape I'd added to my physique — not to mention the fact, I'm training to prepare my body for creating a miracle instead of training for a show. When my pregnancy test came back negative, I chose to trust in the Lord and know that it wasn't my body's fault for not being pregnant yet.

Every season of our life, we're faced with decisions, conflict and hardships that challenge our self-confidence, and more so, our confidence in God. I urge you to step forward into the challenge, instead of back in fear, and remind yourself of where you came from and how you've progressed since you first began whatever kind of journey you're on.


For more resources on health and wellness, follow me on social media (tabs above), and check out my Services tab. Please like, share and comment below. Thanks!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Let's Start with Snacks

Instead of turning your daily dish of meals upside down in order to get healthy, start with snacks. One of the most important ways to make healthier nutrition a part of your lifestyle is to always be prepared for hiccups in your routine, outings with the workplace, and carpool lines that never end. If you can remember to plan for healthy snacks, you won’t come home to a house full of food on an empty stomach, which never ends well ….

My Picks for Protein

  • Tuna fish packets
  • Turkey Jerky
  • Fat-free cottage cheese with fruit (or mixed with fat-free sugar free pudding)
  • Quest Bars (HealthKick or Vitacost.com)
  • Oh Yeah Victory Bars (HealthKick or Vitacost.com)
  • Deli turkey (low sodium options available)
  • Crispy and Crunchy:
  • Rice cakes
  • Quest chips (HealthKick or Vitacost.com)
  • Roasted carrots
  • Broccoli Slaw
  • Veggies/Hummus

If you have to have chips, choose portion-controlled sizes of baked versions, Melba Toast or pretzels.

Sweet Treats

  • Fresh fruit (apple with 1 tbsp all-natural peanut butter)
  • Fat-free, plain yogurt (sweetened with stevia and/or fruit)
  • Sugar-free frozen fruit bars (like the kind by Dreyer’s Outshine)
  • Pure pumpkin puree
  • Fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • Unsweetened almond milk (use my own stevia)
  • Whey protein powder (shake or mixed with yogurt)

My favorite way to curb a sweet tooth is to make protein pudding, using pumpkin, Greek yogurt and protein powder.

Most Versatile

  • Portion-size almonds or pistachios
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Sugar-free candies like Icebreakers


For more wellness tips, recipes and workouts, follow me on social media like TwitterIGFB and Pinterest. For more information on my services, click the links at the top of the page.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Team A.M.Fit's Transformation Challenge

Coach Micah's Transformation after integrating healthy nutrition.
It's officially spring, the season of transformation. Science shows that nature transforms from it's prickly, cold season into the beauty of blossoms and color. Life happens. We also celebrate Easter, which is the resurrection of life. It couldn't be clearer that spring promises a hope for light, color and renewal, which is why it's the perfect time for you to have your own transformation.

Have you ever posted a #TransformationTuesday picture? Or at least seen one? What if you achieved some kind of transformation that made you feel confident enough to share your journey with others? What would it take to make you feel confident enough to take on that kind of challenge?

I invite you to register for the Team A.M.Fit Transformation Challenge, where participants will receive a wealth of resources to help them reach their health and wellness goals, as well as a chance to win a legit supplement/goodie package. 

Amber's transformation from running only to running/lifting.
Here's what you get.

  • Team A.M.Fit 3-Day Cleanse
  • Team A.M.Fit Snack Survival Guide
  • Team A.M.Fit Restaurant Survival Guide
  • Team A.M.Fit Recommended Meal Schedule
  • Option to receive email check-in's from coaches
  • Access to several at-home workouts and 1 workout video
  • Opportunity to win supplement prize including A.M.Fit's favorite goodies


Here are the requirements.

  1. Participants must register before March 29, 2015 (see form below). 
  2. Participants must pay registration fee of $25 via check, cash or PayPal (additional $2 fee).
  3. Participants must track progress with photos, measurements and/or reflection entries (on his/her own agenda). 
  4. Participants must read the Team A.M.Fit Policy.
  5. Participants must post to A.M.Fit social media at least three times during the next six week period between March 30 - May 3, with hashtags #TeamAMFit #TransformationChallenge
  6. Participants must prove to Amber of A.M.Fit that he/she has transformed and become stronger from the inside out.


To register for the Team A.M.Fit Transformation Challenge, please complete the form below.

Friday, March 13, 2015

New Healthy Food Finds for Spring

When I'm having a bad day, I go to Sprouts. Happiness seems to be bottled up in every can, tub or bag in that store. Below, I've made a video on some the latest food items I'm into this month. You can find most of these products at Sprouts or www.vitacost.com.

If you order from Vitacost, please use my $10 off code: http://bit.ly/17zf9QB



For more health and wellness tips and resources, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Please check out my services as well!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Metabolic-Boosting Cardio Ideas

One of the worst things you can do to your metabolism is long-distance cardio or steady-state cardio every time you work out. If you've been unsuccessful losing weight around your midsection or you're currently experiencing hormonal imbalances, there's hope! Instead of working out at the same heart rate level for an hour or so, try interval training. Better yet, try high intensity interval training.




HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training): Exercising at about 71-84 percent of your heart’s maximum heart rate for 75 percent of the time and exercising at about 85-95 percent of your heart’s maximum heart rate for 25 percent of the time. Having a little extra time spent out of your comfort zone (where you feel like you’re going to die!) will put your body into Excess Post Oxygen Consumption, which means you will be burning fat at a higher rate 24-36 hours post-exercise. You will build muscle faster, thus burn fat faster.

HIIT workouts not only boost your body's ability to burn calories faster and more efficiently, it resets your hormones to work properly. The endocrine system is a fragile thing, and the more we can massage it, the more it will function the way God created it to. HIIT cardio is one of the best ways for women, especially, can tap into the fat storages like muffin tops, saddle bags or bra bulge. You know? Those areas we hate to mention.

Instead of walking/running/ellipsing (is that a word?) at the same pace, try one of the following routines on the cardio machines.

Treadmill (or watch the 10-min treadmill video above)
1 min walking on moderate incline (4-6%)
1 min jogging on moderate incline (4-6%)
30 second spring on moderate incline (4-6%)
90 second walking recovery (1-3%)
Repeat 5 times

Elliptical
Incline 10 // Resistance 10
1 min 40-50 RPMs
30 sec 60-70 RPMs
Repeat for 20 minutes

Stairmaster
Choose a program like Intervals or Fat Burner.

For more ideas to change up your cardio routines, check out this 20-Minute Kickboxing Circuit or other videos on my YouTube Channel. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Newbie's Guide to Crockpot Cooking

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a pioneer kitcheneer, you may consider learning some new tricks using the Slow Cooker Crock Pot. Slow Cookers are super-easy to use, facilitate bulk preparation and enable you to have a week’s worth of leftovers — mmmm!

Buffalo Flowers - a fave crockpot creation.
Here are my top tips for Crock Pot Cooking:

  • Prevent a big mess by using nonstick spray or plastic liners. If you can do one of these two tricks, you will save yourself some soaking and scrubbing time.
  • If you are using a lot of vegetables, watch your liquids. Because veggies cook off a lot of water, especially when covered, you can get away with less broth, water, etc. If you get too much liquid, you’re not out of luck. Try ladling out some liquid in a separate bowl, add 1 tbsp of cornstarch or flour and stir until it’s slightly cool. Then, return that mixture to the uncovered pot for about 15 minutes. It’s better to err on the side of less water because you can always add more.
  • Fill up the pot. The point of the slow cooker is to prepare more food at once, and to cook it efficiently with less monitoring. Slow cookers can burn at the bottom or leak if it overflows. The best measurement is to fill it up about 2/3 full.
  • Embrace your creative crock pot-ness. You really can’t mess this up. Try foods like oats, vegetables, broths, meats, soups, stews, or etouffee. But, if you’re in doubt, check out my favorite resources for recipes over at Hungry-Girl or Greatist.
Buffalo Flowers

Ingredients:
  • 2 bags of frozen cauliflower
  • 1 cup (or more if you like) of Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose, brown rice or oat)
  • Garlic salt and cajun seasoning to taste
Directions:
  1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray or line pot with liner and then spray. 
  2. Toss frozen cauliflower in pot and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Mix flour and seasonings into cauliflower until each piece is coated.
  4. Drizzle hot sauce on top.
  5. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-4 hours.
  6. Mix up sauce as it cooks.

For more tips on meal prepping and cooking or other fun recipes, please check my archives on this blog. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

March to Spring Break Boot Camp

It's soon to be sunny skies and 75 — perfect weather. That also means less clothes are required! Move over, scarves and sweatpants! (Let's not get carried away. I will still sport some sweats!

However, the thought of spring does have me thinking about drilling down on some of my goals to stay lean. What better way to do that than jump around like fools with a bunch of other folks?

Team A.M.Fit will be coaching their newest program starting Monday, February 9. The March to Spring Break Program will include a series of boot camp sessions and up close and personal coaching from Coach Micah and me.
March to Spring Break Program
Cost: $150 per person*

  • 15 Bootcamp Sessions (see calendar)
  • 1-Month Meal Plan
  • 1-Month Accountability Check-in's via email/text
  • Chance to win a Surprise Supplement Package

*Price must be paid in full and according to Team A.M.Fit policies.

The deadline to register is this Sunday, Feb. 8, at 5 p.m. Bootcamp sessions will be held at The Neighborhood of Cypress Waters. We will meet in the Grind, which is the gym in the community (address below).

3211 Scotch Creek Rd.
Dallas, TX 75019

If you would like to participate in the March to Spring Break Program, please email me with the following information.

Name
Email
Phone
Additional Notes (personal inquiries, etc)


*Program fees will be made in full via cash, check or PayPal upon receipt of Team A.M.Fit invoice. There will be no refunds (see policies).  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Health-Conscious Holiday Gift Guide

This is a guest post for Zyn22, the hottest (both literally and metaphorically) cycle class I've ever taken. To be honest, it's hard to refer to it as a cycling class because it's more like a dance class. You just happen to be riding a bicycle at the same time. You can find the original blog post here.

Photos taken after my first Zyn22 experience.
Despite my attempts to plan enough in advance for the holidays, in order to prevent the feeling that the day has been stolen from my control-diseased death grip, Christmas always seems to fly by in a flurry. Instead of stressing over wrapping gifts and scheduling enough time to travel among all seven houses we're supposed to visit, I've learned it really is "the thought that counts."

While ideally, I'd like to present a Pinterest-inspired cocktail and wreath to every person I know, my own sanity depends on consciously preserving my creative energy and sticking to the basics. Sometimes, that looks like going to dinner with friends we haven't seen in a while. Sometimes, it's rearranging my schedule to attend a Christmas production at church. Regardless of the extra tasks the holidays inspire, one thing I try my best to do is make sure my gifts are meaningful. That being said, it's important to find ways to make each person feel special. And that, my friend, requires real thought and study for each person to whom you're giving a gift. Nevertheless, these tasks never fail to bring me and those I love true joy.
I have the Ninja Food Processor.

Below, you'll find my ideas for the gym-rat, cardio-bunny or meat head in your life. (The following are in no particular order.)

1. Time (or Effort) Saving Kitchen Utensils

If you know me well enough, you know that the posts/pictures you see of my kitchen creations and meal ideas are simply facades of what naturally occurs when you put a hungry girl in a kitchen full of healthy food. By no means do I intend to pretend that I'm naturally-gifted when it comes to cooking — in fact, I burned the rice on the stove while writing this blog post. Most of the time, my kitchen gadgets deserve credit for any likes or retweets of my recipes/treats.

Here is one of my favorite gadgets.
Aren't these Bia Brasil pants funky?
2. Sweat Swag (AKA Workout Wear)

No matter how confident you are in your own skin, everyone still has days they feel "off" in their workouts. It's those days that something as simple as a new outfit can keep you from skipping leg day. Maybe for you, it's not the outfit, but it's shoes. You can't deny that having a fresh new pair of kicks on when you walk into the gym makes you feel like a million bucks.

Side note: Make sure you really know a person before buying them clothes. The last thing you want to do is buy someone something they feel obligated to keep but don't really like, and that's where a gift card comes in handy.
  • Check out this pair of pants in the Zyn22 line that I can't live without!
Danceaton is like Zumba on steroids.
Below are some of my personal favorite brands.
3. Gym Gear

This takes exercise to the next level.
  • Jumprope
  • Lifting gloves
  • Gym bag (with space for dirty clothes)
  • Towels (embroidered)
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Gym boss/Timer
  • Water Bottle
  • Wireless Headphones
4. Reasons to Relax

I always enjoy a good OTF workout with the other coaches.
This may be my number-one personal choice for things I wish to receive. My feet will never be over-rubbed, that's for sure! Many of us workoutaholics don't know how to make time to rest, and this kind of gift can really make someone feel special. Unless your friend is someone who doesn't like people touching them, you can't go wrong with this gift. An added touch would be to find a place that's near your friend's gym or work, so that it's convenient for them to go, or better yet, pre-book their reservation.
  • Reflexology gift certificate
  • Massage gift certificate
  • Spa day pre-booked
  • Manicure/Pedicure

5. Tickets for New Adventures

Groupon and its friends in the online coupon world are great resources for finding deals on new gigs like yoga classes, Zumba classes, rock climbing, body surfing, barre, kickboxing, martial arts and other fun and unique workouts. They're awesome because you can purchase a set of classes for you or for someone else in advance, which helps to keep you and/or your friend inspired to try new things. Keeping your body guessing is one of the best ways to keep your muscles and mind fresh, which makes you feel and look better.

Below are some of my personal favorites.
Talk about core strength!





Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Team A.M.Fit Christmas Cook-off Recipe Round-Up

The question of the hour last night at Team A.M.Fit's Christmas Cooking Party was, "Are you going to post these recipes?"

To that, I answer with a resounding, "Yup!"
My wonderful clients chowing down together.

Buffalo Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower (or 1 large head fresh)
  • 1/2 cup Frank's Buffalo Hot Sauce
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Garlic/Onion powder (optional)

Directions:

Spray cookie sheet with Pam cooking spray, and spread cauliflower on tray. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees, until pieces are slightly brown. Toss roasted cauliflower in a separate dish, spray with Pam again, and season with garlic powder and/or onion powder. Mix with Frank's hot sauce and bake again in the oven until warm.

Veggie Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
  • 2 cans beans (I used black and red)
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 bag frozen vegetables
  • 1 packet Mrs. Dash gluten-free chili seasoning
  • Mrs. Dash Chipotle Lime seasoning to taste
  • Garlic/Onion powder/sea salt (optional)

Directions:

Place all ingredients (undrained) in a stock pot or crockpot and cook on low for 1 hour. You may want to add 1 cup of water if it gets clumpy, but this may result in more seasoning. Let simmer with occasional stirring.

Cheddar Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag pre-washed, cut kale
  • Orville Reddenbacher's popcorn seasoning (I used cheddar flavor)
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Sea salt/Garlic powder/nutritional yeast to taste

Directions:

Spray cookie sheet with Pam cooking spray, and spread kale across tray. Spray Pam on top of the kale until every piece is shiny and almost drenched. Sprinkle seasonings on kale, and roast in oven for 7-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Watch for it to get crispy. You don't want it to be black.

Gluten-free, Egg-free Cookie Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp butter extract (and maple extract is optional too)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • stevia to taste
  • 2 tbsp sugar-free chocolate chips

Directions:

Spray iron skillet with Pam cooking spray. Use blender or beaters to mix up all ingredients except chocolate chips. Pour batter into the iron skillet. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, and bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Watch for it to get golden brown on top and you should be able to put a fork in it without it gooing around. Let it cool a little in the skillet before trying to get it out with a spatula.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Go-Pro Balls

Ingredients:

  • 4 scoops strawberry whey protein (I used Metabolic Nutrition)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I stretched 3/4 cup all-natural with water)
  • 2 cups oats
  • stevia to taste
  • shredded coconut (for rolling)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together, drizzling water as needed to moisten the protein powder and oats. Be careful not to add too much. Depending on your peanut butter, you may not have to use any at all. If you get too much, just add more oats. Roll into balls, and refrigerate on a tray until serving/eating time.
Three of my clients who had just rushed from OTF class.

New friends discover they've met each other before.
Aside from spooning healthy foods into our faces, we chatted about Genesis Pure, superfoods, Orangetheory, supplements, protein and stevia. Thanks to everyone who came out to support Team A.M.Fit. I hope you felt a little extra special. You deserve it!
My longtime friend and online client Emalee, rockin' her beautiful blue dress!
Below is the video on YouTube of how to make my Superman Shake.



For more information about Team A.M.Fit and my services, please click on the tabs below, or fill out the inquiry form by clicking on my photo in the top right side bar. Thanks!
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