My Plastic-Free Month

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This past weekend I was in a four-day training for NLP ( Neuro Linguistic Programming) and we learned of this idea that every day in our life, we are constantly filtering and deleting things from our reality. The trainer, Matt, referred to it as the Gorilla. We watched a video of a few men and women dressed in black and white passing a basketball back and forth. We were told to count how many times the basketball passes back and forth between people wearing black. 

When the video was over, Matt asked us some questions. One of them was, "How many of you saw the gorilla?" I had happened to see it but didn't think much of it. It was literally a person dressed in a gorilla suit walking right through the mix of people passing the basketball back and forth.

He then asked if we saw other things like a giant letter 'S' in the background and the person in the black shirt wearing white socks, etc. I hadn't noticed either of those. The idea is that all of us have filters and throughout our day, we are constantly omitting and deleting things from our reality. Basically, we see what we want to see. 

Over the course of the weekend, I thought about all the areas in my own life that I omit and delete which is basically, to some extent, every area. We all do it. But it made me think back to a morning I was walking Rocky and all of the sudden it was as if someone turned on a light switch and I saw the trash and garbage all over the ground for the first time ever. In reality, I had been thinking more about my own carbon footprint and the environment and thus, opened my reality up a bit to include it in my sight.

It was everywhere and it made me really sad and a little angry. How is it in this day in age we are still so careless with our beautiful planet? 

This got me thinking about the little things I could change in my own life to make an impact. It was really one of the last things, in my opinion, I needed to focus in on. I was already so aware of what goes in and on my body, it's was time to take a little more responsibility for my contribution to waste. 

I'll be 100% honest though, this area makes me nervous. We are all creatures of habit and like our little comforts. Giving up ALL plastic use for a month was going to really test me and I had to get really honest about this. At the same time, it was like the gorilla. My eyes had been opened and now I could no longer unsee it. 

I really wanted to know; how can I live with less while still obtaining the quality of life I truly cherish? ie: fixing up my house, eating a certain way, using certain products, etc. Is there a better way to go about all of this? Can I still be totally fulfilled all while consuming and using less?

This is about getting more conscious and taking more responsibility. 

I know for me, I hold onto a lot of things. I wouldn't say I'm a hoarder. I'm a bit too type A for that. However, if you open my cabinets, I have A LOT of stuff. It's just really organized, labeled and in alphabetical order. However, it dawned on me awhile back that I don't need all this stuff and I'd really love to learn to live with less. Way less. 

So I've committed to doing so. For the whole month of March. 

Plastic-Free March!

For the whole month of March I will not be buying or using anything that involves plastic. There are a few exceptions to this rule. 

1) I am going to continue using whatever I currently have in my house like plastic spray bottles that I clean with, my plastic waste bin under my sinks, hangers, etc. Over time however, I'd love to transition these idem out. Slowly. 

2) I am going to use biodegradable plastic poop bags for Rocky. Sorry, but I ain't picking up his poop with anything else but a plastic bag over my hand. It’s seriously what I imagine it would be like to pick up human poop. It’s gross. They will be biodegradable though. 

3) There are a few supplements I take that are non-negotiables for me. Untill I can find a better sorce, I need to continue taking them and unfortunately, they come in plastic bottles. Grrr.

Prep for a Plastic Free Month

So how does one prep for this? 

I had a bit of time to think about how I wanted to go about a plastic free month and thus, plenty of time to prep for it. 

These are some of the things I took into consideration to prep:

1) Gather all my reusable shopping bags and make sure they are accessible. 

Fortunately I already have about ten reusable shopping bags. These will be attached to my hip whenever I leave the house now.  No more laziness on my part!

2) Find those reusable produce and bulk item bags I got several years ago but never use. 

I got these several years ago when I was trying to reduce my footprint a bit. I got lazy and stopped using them after about two times. 

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3) Save everything that comes in a glass jar and go to a thrift store and purchase a few bigger sizes. 

I already try to buy most things in glass jars. Peanut butter, mustards, coconut butter and oil, etc. I even just found these at Sprouts! So stoked about this!

I save all my jars and use them for water glasses. However,  I have enough of those so the overflow will now become storage jars. I simple remove the labels. For those hard to remove labels, here is a little trick.

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup baking soda
6 drops Lemon Essential Oil

1) Mix all in a bowl. 
2) Spread mixture over label and wait 15 minutes.
3) Run under warm water and pull away label. If any areas stick,
just use your fingernail to scratch off a bit. 
4) Wipe clean with a cloth. 

 These are awesome to store items in the refrigerator or pantry. I needed a few bigger sizes so I just went to my favorite thrift store and bought a few for a dollar each. Unless you are canning, you really never need to buy brand new jars. 

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4) Take inventory of what I currently use and how I will handle it if I run out during the month. ie: shampoo, conditioner, etc. Even my tampons have plastic on them! 

I follow a woman on Instagram who has made this her mission. She now educates others on how to go plastic-free. She is really inspiring and I've learned a lot from her. She lives in Australia and goes to this amazing bulk store where they have EVERYTHING in bulk and you just bring in your own containers. shampoo and conditioner! It’s dreamy. If anyone knows of a place like this around Encinitas or in the greater San Diego area, PLEASE let me know.

As for tampons, I finally got the Diva cup. I've had several people recommend getting this but I was super nervous. Turns out it's really easy to use and I never have to use tampons again. Which is amazing because those little little guys are bleached and to be honest, I really don't want something with bleach going up my most precious lady parts. :) It’s a sacred space for sacred things!

5) Do a test run grocery shopping.

The other day I did a little test run and it was hard. It's really mind blowing what has plastic on it. Even my pure maple syrup has a plastic top. However, one of the things I realized and that totally excited me was that this is going to greatly cut down on the random items that end up in my basket. That, in my opinion, is a major win!

6) Start slow if need be.

Not everyone needs to go all in right off the bat like me. I'm doing this to see where I can be stretched a bit. It's easier because it's just me. I don't have a partner or kids to incorporate. With that being said, I don't think that should be an excuse either. I think this is an awesome thing you could do WITH your kids! 

7) Get Honest. What do you really need?

Here is a look inside my medicine cabinet. PS – who else LOVES looking in people’s medicine cabinets? It’s werid, I know and I promise I don’t do it randomly! But you can really learn so much about someone in their medicine cabinet. There fridge too! I LOVE looking inside people’s refrigerators!

But really? How much do we need. Raise your hand if you are like me and have about five different lotions, three different face washes, a plethora of hair products, makeup out the wazoo and the list goes on. I don’t even really wear makeup and I have shit ton of it!

It’s time to get real and get rid of stuff. Well, use it up first, find the products you truly love, and stick with them.

8) Less is more

 Marketers are really clever. Like, really clever. So much so that they have this incredible way of convincing us that we will finally reach the level of happiness we hope for by consuming and buying more. There are a few areas I will be obstaining from for March and indefinitely.

a)      Sorry Target but you and I are breaking up. I know your clothes are cheap and adorable but you see, they fall apart so easy and sometimes I just buy them because they are cheap and they sit in my closet for ever before I wear them. I want my purchases to mean more and they just don’t with you anymore. Just your clothes. Not your homegood ;)

b)     Only quality makeup and hair products. Cheap comes with a price. Most of the time the products that are cheap to buy are loaded with chemicals and in my opinion, even worse, tested on sweet, poor, helpless animals. So, without breaking my bank account, I’m only purchasing products that I truly align with. My goal is to eventually get rid of the medicine cabinet and replace it with a mirror. I can do it!

 

So that is it for now.  It’s been about five days and it’s going really well! Stay tuned for an update about mid-month.

In the meantime, leave a comment below telling me some of the things you think you’d have a hard time giving up. I’d love to create a resource for you to help you reduce your waste!

Fit and Free Weekly Playlist - Hip Hop Throwback

I have so many posts I'm in the middle of working on. I'm hoping that I'll feel rejuvenated and inspired to write more in Mexico, or at least when I return. I leave on Tuesday from LAX for one of my dear friend's wedding in Yelapa. This will be my first international trip in two years. As someone who was constantly jet setting for about a five year period, this is incredibly exciting and also bringing up some interesting feelings. Excitement, nervous, happy, uncertain. You name it, I'm feeling it.  

It's the first time I've traveled internationally by myself in a long time. But its time. It is so time. 

So cheers to being wild and free! This is what I've been striving for ever since I stepped into this new life of mine and I'm excited that it's finally starting to happen again. 

I'll be sharing more for sure. 

And now for what I'm sure you've all been waiting for...



I feel like this week's playlist needs a little explanation. So, here's a little secret about me not many know: I have always been a huge hip hop fan. I'm not sure anything else gets me quite as worked up as Biggie bustin' his Biggie Smalls rhymes. Except for maybe Nelly riding dirty. 

But be warned, there are definitely some explicit and inappropriate lyrics on this playlist. If you are sensitive to that, maybe check out last weeks playlist or wait for next weeks. I'll make it more user friendly.

Oh, and no laughing at the last song. I stand by my man. Team Joey forever.  

Time of Our Lives - Pitbull, Ne-Yo
Stay - Rihanna, Mikky Ekko
Ride Wit Me - Nelly , City Spud
Country Grammar - Nelly
Air Force Ones - Nelly, Murphy Lee
Right Thurr - Chingy
One Call Away - Chingy
Smack That - Akon, Eminem
So Sick - Ne-Yo
Because of You - Ne-Yo
Closer - Ne-Yo
Cupid - 112
Anywhere -112
Dance With Me - 112
Only You (Bad Boy Remix) - 112, The Notorious B.I.G
Let's Get Married -Jagged Edge
Old Thing Back - Matoma, The Notorious B.I.G
Juicy - The Notorious B.I.G
Notorious Things - The Notorious B.I.G
In Da Club - 50 Cent
21 Questions - 50 Cent, Nate Dogg
Wanna Get To Know You - G-Unit, Joe
Poppin' Them Thangs - G-Unit
Don't Cha - The Pussycat Dolls
Still Not a Player - Big Pun, Joe
I'm Not a Player - Big Pun, Joe
The Seed (2.0) - The Roots
Vivrant Thing - Q-Tip
If I Ruled The World - Mas, Ms. Layryn Hill
Lose Yourself - Eminem
The Monster - Eminem, Rihanna
Love The Way You Life - Eminem, Rihana
Without Me - Eminem
Please Don't Go Girl - New Kids On The Block


You say you want to feel good again.
You say the time is now.
You say you want a good relationship with food. 
You say something just has to change. 
You say you want to feel good in your skin again. 
You say you really want it bad. 

So what's stopping you? 

I use to say all these things until I realized it was really all up to me. That all the little things I did every single day added up to big things in my life. These things either lead me closer to or further from my goals. 

And in some areas, things needed to change. (It's a process) 

And I needed help. 

I was stubborn though and hated admitting that. I hated asking for help. But it was the only way. 

And you know what? It's actually very brave to say, "hey, I need some help. I don't think I can do this alone." So it's not complicated but it does have to be your choice and you do have to be the one to say yes.

 I'll take it from there.


Join me, May 1st to May 5th and we commit to eating clean for a better life (and booty). 

It's COMPLETELY FREE. 

What you get:

+ Grocery list to plan and prep with
+ My tools and tips for lasting success
+ 5 days of delicious recipes
+ Daily videos to keep you focused and motivated
+ FREE accountability group
+ Muah as your fearless food loving leader
 

BONUS: MY secret weapon that has helped with cravings, regulate my blood sugar, helped with my adult acne and provides long lasting energy!

Cost: Nothing, this ones on me!

Join the movement to feeling fit and free!

Registration closes April 25th. 


feeling fit, free and thirty-five and what that means in this chapter of life

(Read to the bottom to here about a special offer for you)

I've never really been one to stick to one particular diet. Except for the three years that I choose, for ethical and health reasons, to eat a strict vegan diet, I've never truly committed to one modality of eating. I have however, been extremely interested in learning about the vastness that is health, wellness and nutrition and have learned to apply what makes sense to me and my life. My natural curiosity began at a very young age and I think I started eating quiona in 2001 before it became the superfood staple that it is today because I read about it's superpowers in a health magazine.

However, I was a bit of a conundrum. Despite my natural curiosity and love of health, nutrition, fitness and personal development, I struggled with body acceptance and the way I looked for a very long time. I spent about fifteen years trapped in a cycle of shame surrounding an, at times, crippling eating disorder. I've shared this journey here if you'd like to read more. 

Fortunately, through a lot of personal growth and discovery and coming to a deep understanding of where my body dysmorphia stemmed from, I've learned the tools to be able to reframe the way I see myself and how I feel in my skin. 

I've also, at a very young age, had my body betray me in the worst kind of way. Getting colon cancer at twenty-four, having part of my large intestine removed, developing a major complication/infection, having to have "The Bag" for three months, more surgeries, lots of recovery and THEN having to learn how to work with a new body that felt broken was to say the least, a lot. 

Learning to find a deep sense of appreciation for the body has been a huge journey. 

So naturally, sharing what follows feels a little superficial but, in my efforts to always being transparent, this is part of my journey too. With that being said, I've noticed over the course of the last few years, as I pass threw my early thirties and climb over that inevitable hill into my mid to late thirties, some new and interesting thoughts appearing about the way I look. I'm starting to realize the importance, now more then ever, to maintain a regular healthy diet and exercise routine and even more focus on acceptance and self-love. 

One of the stories I attached myself to at some point or another is that as you get older, things just don't work the way they use to and that is just the way it is. The damaging part of this story is the, "That is just the way it is." I discovered that I started using this as a way to be more complacent and as an excuse for not doing the things I once loved doing. 

It is true that as you get older, things change. Your body changes. Your ability to gain weight is easier and losing weight feels harder. Things start to droop a little and lines and creases form where you once had none. I remember right after my thirtieth birthday I looked in the mirror and saw the horizontal creases on my forehead and my jaw dropped. I guess I just never thought I was going to...age. I've always felt energetically and physically a lot younger then I was but its inevitable. We all age, we all get older. 

 So a huge part of my growing over the last few years is finding a sense of appreciation and acceptance for my body in a whole new light. Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of people will look at me and probably roll their eyes. I look a lot younger then I am. However, I think it's important to understand that everyone has their shit. Everyone has the stuff they are hyper cryptical of and we all have a past, that at times, can creep back up and start to tell old stories. 

I recognized that it was time to lay out all the stories I have about aging and revamp and redefine them in a way that is aligned to how I REALLY feel inside and how I will allow myself to feel moving forward. 

Then one day recently, as I was scrolling Instagram, I landed on a woman's page, a fellow health and wellness warrior and San Diegoan (is that how you spell it?), and I started watching the things she posted more closely. There was something about her that just really inspired me. Something that left me thinking, "You know, our lives are made up of the stories that we tell ourselves every single day. What stories do I need to reframe? What stories do I, Amanda, have the power to change and reshape?" Eventually I felt compelled to reach out to her and learn more about all of these workouts she was doing and she invited me to join one of her challenges and I thought, why not? There is no greater time then now to be exactly who I want to be or better put, exactly who I really am. 

So about a week ago I started doing the workouts and paying closer attention to what I was eating, careful however, to use the tools I've garnered over the years to not fall back into old, obsessive behaviors. This photo is my before. 

As I mentioned in the Instagram post, my goals aren't exactly to lose weight. My goals are to feel my absolute best, inside and out, as I move into my second half of my thirties. In all honesty, it's been something I've struggled with, especially after my divorce two years ago. With 100% transparency, my whole marriage and the end of it left me feeling broken and self-conscious in so many of ways. I had no idea it would take me so long to put the pieces back together and discover who I was again. My goal is, and always has been since the minute I walked away, was to rebuild myself and life from the inside out. 

So, the number on the scale doesn't mean much to me but the way I feel in my skin, that changes everything. Feeling good in your skin helps our confidence and inner spirit shine brighter. When we shine our brightest we inspire others to feel safe doing so too.

As we pull ourselves out of the darkness of winter and into the lightness of spring (at least in San Diego), I think its safe to say we all feel so much better when we are surrounded by brightness and warmth, am I right? 

So I ask you this, what is something you are telling yourself right now that isn't exactly the truth, is just a story you picked up along the way and made it your own? Now, how can you reframe it to be more truthful and aligned to who you are?


And for those of you that want to know exactly what it is I'm doing, here are the details. 

Workout

21 day fix extreme or 21 day fix
 

What I REALLY love about this workout, like the others I've done, is that I can do them from the comfort of my own home, they are 30 minutes and you walk away feeling like you got a killer workout. You can always add on another if you want a little more. Sometimes I'll add cardio or a 10 minute abs. What is really awesome is you feel and see results pretty quickly.

I love working out from home. I know this seems to be one of the biggest issues for a lot of people, they feel like they just aren't motivated enough, but seriously, the hardest part is putting on your workout clothes and pushing play. Once you are in it, you are in it and the 30 minutes goes by quickly. 

diet and nutrition

superfood shake: Vegan Chocolate

As I mentioned above, I don't really follow a particular diet. This program gives you a plan which is nice for anyone who needs more detailed guidance. I eat pretty intuitively, meaning, I listen to what my body is craving and ask why, then eat according to whatever answers I come up with. This isn't a freebie to eat poorly. If I'm craving junk, well, I know enough by now that I'm probably really craving more nurturing and love. 

I have added in a new superfood shake/smoothie. One thing about me is that I do not like a lot of over the counter shakes. They usually are way too chalky for me but this one is legit. I was a little nervous at first because I truly believe in getting our nutrition from real, whole foods but that is exactly what this is.  The ingredients in this are just that. 

The proprietary superfood formula was designed to provide you with vital nutrients to help you lose weight (if that is part of your goal), maintain healthy cholesterol, and support healthy blood sugar levels. A huge component of this shake is made up of super foods that I was taking already to support healthy digestion, energy levels, thyroid/adrenal support, and longevity. 

Look at these:

Protein derived from (helps build lean muscle and reduce cravings): Chia, Flax, Quinoa, Rice, Pea and Oat.

Super-fruit/antioxidants (immune support):  Camu-camu, acerola Cherry, Bilberry, Goji Berry, Green Tea, Luo Han Guo, Pmegranate, Rose Hips. 

Super-green and Phytonutrient Blend( support health and vitality): Moringa, Chlorella, Spirulina, Spinach and Kale.

Adaptogen Blend (helps body adapt and respond to stress): Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Ginkgo, Maca, Maitake, Reishi, Schisandra.

Pre and Probiotic and Digestive Enzyme Blend (help absorb nutrients and support regular healthy digestion): Yacon Root, Chicory Root, Lactobacillus Sporogenes, Amylase, Cellulase, Lactase, Glucoamylase, Alpha-Lalactosidase, Invertase. 


So, if you know me you know that all of these ingredients are pretty sexy to me and I bet they sound pretty intriguing to you as well!

So, now you are probably thinking, I've read all the way down to the bottom, what's in this for me? What is this special offer just for me? 

Well, I'm thinking that maybe part of my story resonated with you. Maybe, like me, you want to feel your absolute best, despite your age. Maybe you are ready to let go of some of those old stories that have been circling around your head and adopt some new, life affirming and life changing ones. Maybe you, yourself are ready to join a challenge with me? 

Together, we can, not only change ourselves, but change the way we feel inside and out by leading by example, that no matter where you are in life, no matter what you have gone through, what you are going through, or where you are showing up from today, you can begin by saying yes, signing up and joining in the movement to brighten the world. 

I just think that is so amazing that we have the choice. Don't you?

Want to know more? Email me right now and let's start a conversation on how you can begin feeling your very best. The conversation is FREE, the changes you'll make, well, those are priceless!
 

 

The Year of The Yes

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I've never really been one to make New Year's Resolutions which is strange coming from someone who coaches other on how to design and implement small changes in their lives in order to reach their goals. For me, setting New Year's goals has always felt phony and forced and typically three weeks in I've fallen so far off the wagon and I might as well wait for the next year anyway. And as the lovely Danielle LaPorte says, it's the feeling that reaching the goal will bring we are chasing anyways.

So what I do instead is reflect on the feeling I want to create and give lots of thought to what needs to happen in order to encourage more of that in my life. I believe in creating a vision and having a theme or a word that encompasses the feeling I'm trying to create in my life.  This year is all about the yes because I want the excitement and exhilaration that follows. 

I guess it all boils down to a sense of freedom and adventure. We can easily talk ourselves out of so much if we allow ourselves. I know I sure can anyway. So what exactly do I mean by saying yes more? Well, to anything really but one place I am starting is with dating. 

I've spent the last nine months trying to figure my junk out. Why I keep putting myself in similar situations and how I can do things differently moving forward. I've thought about what I want and definitely have come to know what it is I don't want. 

I think when you go through something like divorce or a major breakup it's important to reflect on all of it. And regardless of what instigated the demise of the relationship, the hard truth is it takes two to tango and it's never just one persons fault. So, I've had to think a lot about my role in all of it which is a whole post in and of itself. But anyway....

When I decided to move 1200 miles away from everyone that is comfortable to me I decided that once I was here I'd put myself out there and start dating. I mean, I could continue saying I'm not ready or I could think of it as a fun way to meet new people. It's really up to me. 

Dating in the past has always been somewhat interesting. Until I feel comfortable, I can be painfully awkward at times and/or bail out because I really hate the awkward moments of silence.  And I'm pretty sure I was born without the ability to bullshit. I mean, I can definitely flirt but bullshit? Not so much.  In fact, the very thought of sitting across the table from a complete stranger "chit-chatting" makes my stomach turn, my palms sweat and my throat go dry. If I know anything about myself for certain it is that I am not a bullshitter.  

Actually, one of the reasons I love being a coach is that you get to go deep and go deep fast. People literally pay me to jump right to the good stuff, the real stuff. I live for the real stuff. I thrive on the real stuff. So when it comes to jumping back in the saddle and putting myself out there I get nervous because I know there is the inevitable first date of potential awkwardness. I know. I sound so negative. 

However, 2015 is the year of the yes and with that comes saying yes when I get asked out on a date or to do anything for that matter. And what I've come to know is it really boils down to me changing my perspective. How can I find adventure in dating? How can I find adventure in getting to know these new people? How can I get out of my own way and fully embrace this new experience? 

So, I joined Tinder.

Yep. I did the very thing I said I'd never do because I need to put myself out there and honestly I have no idea how to actually well, put myself out there so I just did it. I joined.  However, I'm not so sure it will be so hard meeting people considering some guy at the grocery store handed me his phone number (unsolicited mind you) within two minutes of talking to him about the sacred geometry ring on my finger.  All of this happnened only a few hours after landing in Encinitas.

So, yeah,  I joined Tinder and it seems to work because I already have a meet up with someone on Sunday. But wait, was that too fast? I mean, crap! Did I just accept a walk on the beach with a complete aggressive crazy? It's just a walk, right? Really no need for my overly active and analytical mind to start overthinking right? Plus no awkward stares from across the table (BONUS!) and it IS the year of the yes and he asked and I said yes. 

So aside from dating because really, let's be honest here, my whole freakin' life just completely changed and there is more going on then me starting to date.  However if we are being completely honest, that's the stuff ya'll really want to read about, right? :). I know you so well. 

But apart from saying yes to dates I'm saying yes to anything and everything (within my moral code).

Walk on the beach? Yes!
Surfing? Yes!
Sailing? Yes!
Road trip up the coast? Yes!
Meet up for dinner on a school night? Yes!
Skydive? Maybe...probably....okay, yes!
Swimming with Great Whites? Um... hell no! Are you crazy? It may be the year of yes but I think that one gets a no.

But you get the point, right? This over analytical brain of mine, the one that talks myself out of a whole lot, is taking a little break and I've decided to give life a big old YES. 

My move, more than anything, is about living with a sense of adventure and all of this yes business feels wildly adventurous. And if anything, it'll make for a great story while I awkwardly stare at someone from across the table. 

Here is to saying yes!