Friday, July 17, 2015

The Best Way to Love Yourself (and the World)

If there's one thing the majority of my clients have in common, it's the mindset of insecurity and negative self-talk. And let's be honest. It's not just my clients. It's my friends, my family, and sometimes, even me.
Post-Zyn class, sweaty and beautiful.
One of my most recent clients mentioned to me that she loved her program because she saw the therapeutic nature of it. It's the same reason why we love Zyn22. We call it #sweattherapy. You cannot be successful in a journey for improving the physical health of your body without improving the spiritual health of your body. And it all begins in the mind.

Unfortunately, the world we live in doesn't exactly paint a picture of hearts and rainbows for our feeble mind. My eyes are constantly bombarded with images of society's standards on beauty, sex and what it means to be successful. More times than not, these depictions do not line up with what I know to be true according to the Bible.



Humor me for just a minute Try to stay with me as I share something that crossed my mind the other day ....

Let's take two words: World and Word. Phonetically-speaking, the only difference is the letter "L." Let's make tha letter "L" represent two other words: Lie and Love.

All it takes is the removal of the letter "L" from the word "world" to get back to "word." Let's say that letter stands for Lie, the deception that the world's standards are true and definitive. Remove the "lie," and your left with "Word." What I'm saying is this: Instead of comparing oneself to the world's standards, hold oneself accountable to the truths and statutes in the Word of God.

The truth is, God's word is free of lies. We can trust it completely, and should shape our lives around God's standards and statutes. However, that doesn't mean we must depart from the world we live in, shunning anyone still struggling with measuring up to society.

Reflecting on God's blessings and his teachings on a hike in Colorado.

No, in fact, if you put a different L-word back in ... Let's say this time the letter "L" stands for "love," you get "World" again. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, He gave his only son." We are called to love the world, to be transformed and then show that love to the rest of the world. What God doesn't want us to do is get caught up in comparing ourselves to those who are conformed to the world or those who are not being transformed by the truth, Gods Word.

For the most part, worldly people or affairs make it pretty obvious if they are trying to uphold the Word or not. The thing is, how can you differentiate the two if you don't spend any time studying the Word? Don't succumb to the L-word LIE, but instead, fill your spirit with God's Word and spread the L-word LOVE!

For more discussion and insight on strengthening the body, soul and spirit, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Check out my services by clicking the tabs above. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Independence Day Do's and Don'ts

Every holiday, the health-minded are faced with challenges to their normal rise and grind routines. In America, most holidays involve some sort of lounging, boozing or feasting, and that just doesn't sync well with a health-hustlin' fool like me. That being said, here are my top tips for not totally surrendering all the hard work you've put in this summer to stay fit from the inside out this 4th of July weekend.

This is what I was doing last year's 4th of July... Independence Classic Fitness Competition.

Stay Active. Find some sort of exercise, sport, fitness class, or activity to enjoy. Whether it's a sand volleyball game, a water volleyball game, some frisbee throwing, flying a kite, walking the dogs, or whatever — opt to go instead of sit. Or, at least earn some sitting and lounging time by getting in a good, earned sweat (Texas humidity doesn't count, y'all).

Stay Hydrated. Not only should you drink extra water during the hot summer months to fight heat exhaustion, but also because it will help you feel full. When you're water depleted, you may fill flat and light for a little while, but if you're going to be outside or in the sun, it's important to always be drinking something like iced water (try adding lemon/stevia), iced tea, or another stevia-sweetened beverage (try Bai5). Holding a cold drink keeps one hand from picking at chips and cookies, too! Plus, the more you're full of water, the less you will indulge in gains-killing alcohol (which makes you fluffy and puffy).


Stay Prepared with Food. Usually, grilled options are great. Think turkey burgers, bison burgers, chicken breasts, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, onions, and (organic) corn. If you're heading to a friend's house or party, always bring something light and fresh you can munch on. I usually bring a giant salad full of spring greens, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, broccoli, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, onions, carrots, and pack a bottle of light dressing or something to top it with. If it takes you bringing your own stocked cooler, do it. It's worth the extra effort.

Stay Protected from the Sun. If you're going to be out and about in the sun, either wear some organic, all-natural sunscreen or cover up with a hat and some sun-repellant apparel. Skin cancer is no joke, y'all.

Despite the simplicity of the above tips, I hope they help at least remind you of a couple things you may have already known, or maybe inspired you to do something different. Happy Independence Day, friends. Let's take a moment to thank our ancestors and all those who have sacrificed for our freedom.

For more information on Team A.M.Fit or my services, please explore the tabs above or shoot me an email. Follow me on social media too!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to Hack Restaurant Remorse


One of the biggest challenges to maintaining a healthy diet is going out to eat. Let's face it. Restaurant food doesn't exactly scream, "Eat me and I'll make you thin!" In fact, it's probably closer to something like, "Eat me and I'll make you fat ... muah hahahaha (evil laugh)."

It's time to take back your seat at the booth and enjoy some time away from your own kitchen every now and then. With a few tips in your pocket — and a little extra cash — you can enjoy restaurant food just like those crazies who could care less about clean eating.



Mexican Restaurants

Look for something that that has a lean protein (pollo, carne, bistec, etc) with vegetables (vegetales). Ask for no cheese or oil. Opt for a ranchero sauce or salsa instead of anything cream-based. Corn tortillas over flour tortillas, and if you can skip them all together, even better. Steer clear of the rice and beans, and add a side salad with pico de gallo instead. Ask for celery or carrots to dip in salsa instead of chips, or another option would be to ask them to remove the chips all together.

Italian Restaurants

Watch out for the bread served here. If you desperately want some, give yourself one piece and order a salad or soup to begin your meal while everyone else is chowing down on empty calories. Ask for light dressing to be tossed if served family style. Look for items on the menu like broth soups (not cream-based), chicken (grilled or baked) or fish (grilled or baked). Steer clear of anything breaded or blackened. Choose marinara over alfredo, and try to fluff up your meal with as many vegetables as possible. Ask that your meal be cooked with little to no oil. Use balsamic vinegar when necessary.

Asian Restaurants

The sauces served with entrees at Asian restaurants are probably your worst offender because in general, these options are pretty safe. If it's something other than brown, garlic or teriyaki sauce, ask for it on the side, and then dip your bites into the sauce. Choose brown rice over white, and opt for more vegetables if you can. Steamed chicken is better than any other kind, and confirm it's white meat only.

Miscellaneous

Be weary of anything fried, blackened, crispy or breaded. Ask your server how things are prepared and if there's any cheese or oil it's tossed in. When ordering sides, go for the steamed veggies, and to flavor it up, ask for a side of one or more of the following: balsamic vinegar, salsa, marinara sauce, mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ranchero sauce, salsa verde, buffalo wing sauce or Sriracha sauce. Ask if "turkey" burgers are all-white meat or not. When ordering burgers or sandwiches, remove half the bun/bread or ask for it to be served within lettuce wraps or atop lettuce. If you have an option, try the bison burger. ;)

Salads

First of all, don't fall for the whole "It's a salad; it must be healthy," scheme restaurants tend to push. Many salads can total up to as many if not more calories as burgers, pastas, etc. That being said, you can totally get your greens made just like you like it with a ton of flavor. Find a salad option that will require the fewest tweaks. Something with a lean protein and mostly veggies. It's best to ask the server to remove any cheese, croutons, fried onions/noodles, and bring the nuts and dressing on the side. If you forget to do everything but the last part — dressing on the side — you'll still save a TON of unnecessary calories.

Soups 

Some studies show that slurping soup before your meal can help you feel full quicker, which means you ingest less calories and avoid over-eating. Look for broth soups filled with vegetables and lean protein. Be cautious of tomato soups, cream-of-____ soups, and anything with cheese.

Omelettes

Fix your eyes on the omelette that has the most veggies in the description. Think peppers, tomatoes, onions, spinach, mushrooms, etc. Order it with egg whites or egg substitute instead of regular eggs, and ask for the cheese on the side (or skip it all together). Don't put any ham or turkey in there because you'll get enough protein from the eggs themselves. Be sure to tell the server to use little to no oil. If you're really hungry, ask for a cup of oatmeal and/or fruit to go with it.


Fruit Parfaits

There are few things that I order straight off the menu, and a fruit parfait still ain't one of them. You'll be better off ordering a cup or bowl of fruit and a side of fat-free or light yogurt. Mix it together yourself and sprinkle a little stevia or no-calorie sweetener on your own, and you'll probably shave off 100-200 empty calories.

Desserts

I don't know about you, but a meal is not complete unless my tongue has tasted both the savory and the sweet. Instead of devouring the piece of cake or milk shake, order a side of fruit and a coffee or tea. Better yet, prepare something sweet at home and have it waiting on you. Don't know what to make? I've got a TON of recipes here on my blog or on my Instagram. Save the restaurant desserts for your next treat meal.

For more health and wellness tips, follow me on social media and view my 'Services' tab above. Please like, share and comment on this post. I'm on Pinterest, so pin it. I'm on YouTube, so go watch my videos. ;)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Team A.M.Fit Class Calendar for Summer 2015

Who's ready to get sweaty for summer? Below, you'll find the current calendar for all A.M.Fit classes held at a variety of studios. Please note that this schedule has quite a few changes from the previous class calendars, withe addition of classes at Granite Park, Orangetheory and introducing Zyn22. You may be interested in reading a description of each class.

G | Granite Park Three
O | Orangetheory Fitness Coppell
Z | Zyn22 Fort Worth

Monday

G | 11:30 am-12:15 pm Butts & Guts Bootcamp (Ali)

Tuesday

G | 12-12:45 pm Butts & Guts Bootcamp (Kayla)

Wednesday

O | 7:30-8:30 am OTF (Amber)
O | 8:45-9:45 am OTF (Amber)
O | 10-11 am OTF (Amber)
G | 12-12:45 pm Kickboxing/PiYo (Amber)


Thursday

G | 12-12:45 pm Butts & Guts Bootcamp (Kayla)
O | 4:30-5:30 pm OTF (Amber)
O | 5:45-6:45 pm OTF (Amber)
O | 7-8 pm OTF (Amber)
O | 8:15-9:15 pm OTF (Amber)

Friday

O | 8:45-9:45 am OTF (Amber)
O | 10-11 am OTF (Amber)
G | 11:30 am-12:15 pm Butts & Guts Bootcamp (Ali)
Z | 5:30-6:15 pm Zyn22 (Amber)*
*starting May 15

*Saturday, May 23
O | 8:45-9:45 am OTF (Amber)
O | 10:15-11:15 am OTF (Amber)
O | 11:30 am - 12:30 pm OTF (Amber)

For more information about group classes or other Team A.M.Fit services, please see the tabs above.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Cost of Comparison

One of my biggest responsibilities as a health and fitness professional is to find ways to motivate people to make healthy choices. This responsibility can be as surfacey as a reminder about the dangers of sugar, and this burden can go as deep as inspiring a soul-search. It's probably the most rewarding part of my job, and it's what makes my work kingdom-worthy instead of just worldly.

Truth be told, most of my readership and resources come and go from social media like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. I'm sure you're aware that you have your friends, and then you have your social media friends. And let's be honest, a lot of my inspiration comes from scrolling through pictures on these sites. And that's how I do what I do. But, no matter how many #fitchicks or #chickswholift I follow, I'm constantly barraged by feelings of insecurity.

The question of inspiring others (and how to do it better) has me thinking ... Which of my posts are truly motivating and which of my posts are self-seeking (you know the kind that are simply looking for a high five or compliment)?

#SweatySelfies are the only kind I know how to do.
I hope that the more mature I get (in age and in Christ), the less trivial, self-serving, vain posts I have and the more genuine, wisdom-bearing posts I have. It's you guys that keep me accountable, in the same way I hold my students, clients and class participants accountable. That being said, I feel the need to address one of the most dangerous pitfalls to health and wellness — comparison.

There are two kinds of comparison. One is positive. When comparing yourself with your former self, it helps us to learn from our past and differentiate right from wrong. The other is negative. When comparing yourself with someone else, it causes us to engender either pride or inferiority.

Self-comparison is a legitimate way to become teachable, coachable. For example, as some of my Transformation Challenge participants send in progress photos, I'm comparing their bodies week to week. This kind of comparison reveals how they've grown, succeeded, and exemplified discipline. It allows me to praise them for their progress and encourage them in their weakness.

My burden for this post is to encourage you to stop scrolling through social media and picking out what you want to be like and what you don't. Stop following people who post daily selfies and ask you to love yourself at the same time. That's simply contradictory. My other burden is to ask you what would be motivating for you to keep discovering the beauty and strength inside of you that makes you who you are, unique to all other creatures? How can I help? Which of my Instagram posts are helpful and which are not? 

Your Attitude Reflects Your Attention

I've been told real-life pics remind folks we are only human too.
What are you paying most attention to? Is your constant self-loathing and match-ups to thrice-filtered IG celebs to blame for your feelings of insecurity and discouragement?

We trick our brains into thinking that the more chiseled abs we see, the more we're going to want to diet and exercise. It couldn't be farther from the truth. 

I don't know about you, but pictures of half-naked models do not motivate me to work harder at being healthy. In fact, I've noticed the more time I spend scrolling through pictures of bathroom selfies featuring badonk-a-donk barbies, the more crappy I feel about myself. The more crappy I feel, the less I want to work out, and the more I want to sit on the couch with low-fat ice cream. (I have no idea what this logic is ....)

Your Frustration Reveals Your Fixation

Whatever you concentrate on is what determines your mood and attitude. Your frustration reflects your fixation. 

Fixing your mind on your feelings (reflection of the soul) is dangerous. Feelings are fleeting and often sculpted by our situation. Your mind will deceive your heart, leading to the betrayal of your deepest core principles.  Fixing your eyes on your situation is dangerous too. Instead, feed your mind with the Word of God and His promises. They never fail and are unconditional.

So, this is my real responsibility — to fill you with light, a light that reminds you the cost of comparison and the value of denying the flesh. When you choose something based on feelings, your chances of doing the right thing are 50/50. But when you make a choice with knowledge based on a kingdom-vision, God's faithfulness will sustain you in all things, independent of your feelings and situation.

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!

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!
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