Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Team A.M.Fit Valentine's Day Sale

The Bible commands us to love your neighbor. What better way to do that than to make a commitment to one another to get fit from the inside out!

Whether it's you and your spouse or you and a pal, you'll find that Team A.M.Fit makes February the best time to get fit. When you and your friend purchase two or more online programs, you'll receive 20 percent off your total order. 

It's as easy as this ...

  1. Find a friend (or two).
  2. Hug them and tell 'em that you love 'em (this one is optional).
  3. Choose an online program from the list of Services available on my website.
  4. Email me and copy your friend, indicating which program(s) you want, along with a mention of LOVETHYNEIGHBOR.
  5. Wait for me to send you an inquiry form and deliver your custom program.

Find free recipes and workouts on my Instagram @ambermichellefit or on my Facebook page. Be sure and spread the word about the sale, friend!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Fancy Ketchup and Friends

You know what makes me snicker? 

Seeing pics on Instagram from competitors or "clean-eaters" of their so-called delicious meals, showcasing some plain ol' grilled chicken and boring broccoli, probably nuked in the microwave ... or worse, steamed in a pot ... with no flavor and no taste.

They often come with captions like, "Meal prep done and dinner is served. Check out my awesome plate full of clean eats."

Uh, that may be clean and all, but according to my taste buds, that's a pile of crap. Truly, I don't mean to make fun of you. I'm saddened for you. I, too, have suffered from the trending epidemic of food mania and obsession with calories, measuring and such, and I can recall a few embarrassing photos on IG where I have posted something like that. Mine were probably worse than others because I would post it in my washed and reused cool whip tub or something like that. Thank the good Lord, I have been set free.

(Side note: There should be posting requirements on Instagram for food, to encourage the IG-neubs like ... 1. It should be healthy, and 2. It should at least be sort've pretty.)

Any way, being that I am a former fancy ketchup-aholic, I have a TON of secrets on how to make your boring, contest-prep-style food taste and look freaking fabulous. These are some of my latest finds.

Franks' Hot Sauce

I put that sh** on everything! Literally, I do. Ask my husband. My current obsession is the Buffalo Wing flavor. I use it to marinate my chicken and/or turkey, as well as toss it in salads with fat-free feta cheese. If you don't like vinegar, then you may not like it, but if you don't like vinegar (cough, cough, my husband), then you have no soul. Just kidding, babe! ;)

Paula Dean's Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce

I  can only find this guy at Sam's Club. I took a leap of faith when I first bought the double pack of mega bottles from the wholesale store, but geez, am I glad I did! It's made with mostly clean ingredients, with the exception of sucralose (Splenda), but it's the last ingredient listed, which is better because the ingredients are listed in order from the highest quantity used to lowest. I would compare this BBQ sauce to Sweet Baby Ray's original brand. I use it on meats, in salads, on my veggies and even plain rice cakes mixed with mustard. Weird? Ya, but so what.

Assorted Flavor Extracts

These little bottles of magic have completely changed my life. So far, I have found vanilla, butter and nut, almond, coconut, maple, red velvet, peppermint and raspberry. There are others like banana and rootbeer, but I haven't tried those yet. They are awesome for baking and post-workout shakes, but you can also use them in your oats or cream of wheat/rice. You could even mix a squirt in with a cup of tea, coffee or almond milk for a quick sweet-tooth-fix.

Xantham Gum

Behold! I have found the key to making the perfect protein shake. A little dash out of the red paper packet atop your protein powder, ice and water, and BOOM, you have made creaminess. This one adds no flavor, but it has totally transformed my chocolate-flavored ice (previous attempts at making healthy shakes) into a thick and frothy blend of yummy-goodness.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Aside from being one of nature's strongest antibacterials and detox agents, ACV can be used in marinades, dressings and even mixed with Emergen-C packets. (I like mine in a shot glass, only slightly diluted with water, so I can feel it burning all the toxins away in my gut.) Besides that, the best way I've used ACV is shaken with stevia and extra-virgin olive oil for a perfect anytime salad dressing. You can add herbs and other crap like garlic, lime juice, lemon juice, chili powder, or anything from Mrs. Dash.

That's all I have up my sleeve (or shall I say, on my sleeve) for now, folks. Hope you get some new ideas to turn your boring healthy food into something scrumptious. Please leave your ideas and questions in the comments below!

Find more recipes of mine by following me on Instagram @AmberMichelleFit or on Twitter @AmberDobecka

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cheers to 2013

I've said it over and over again. This year has been a season of growth, humility and character-building. 

This year turned out to be a fair combination of surprises and silver lining for me. I experienced a broken heart but learned how to let God rebuild my broken spirit.

Early 2013 image by Stephanie Dawn Photography
Last year, I wrote about grace and how I wanted to reflect God's mercies in my everyday life.
Last year, I learned the value of God's grace in my life — his unconditional love for me and everlasting promise to forgive and forget my mistakes. This year, I'm trying to convey that same grace in my everyday lifestyle, to give grace freely to myself and to others, showing a heart that's slow to anger and not easily offended. 
My hope is that I'll wake up each day in 2013, invite God to walk with me and be reminded that his mercies are renewed every morning. As I go through my day, I hope to reflect his love by being slow to speak, eager to forgive and free of any judgmental attitudes.
— My blog on FaithVillage.com 
While I don't feel like I'm exactly a pro at being a grace-giver, I am sure that I've improved, and I can definitely say I'm a heck of a lot more spiritually aware of people and how God may want to use me to bless someone else.

Late 2013 image with my man by my side
That being said, I can affirm that this past year has been a BIG year for me, but I can't help but trust that 2014 will be even better. Here are some of the most remarkable things in my life for 2013.

1. I lost nearly 20 pounds.
2. I traveled outside Texas alone for the first time in my life.
3. I competed in three different bodybuilding shows.
4. I walked the streets of Disney Land in Anaheim, California.
5. I took a photo on the beach of the Pacific Ocean.
6. I quit my first job.
7. I sold my first house.
8. I watched my husband be inducted into the Carrollton Fire Department.
9. I started my own business.
10. I learned what it means to "choose to love" and how much more special that is than to merely be "in love."

I would also like to thank you for 2013. Thank you to those who lended a listening ear, a warm hug, a helpful hand, an encouraging smile, a word of wisdom, a generous pocket, an open door, a free meal, a thoughtful compliment, or any other kinds of love shown to me this year. I hope 2014 is blessed and prosperous for you!

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