My Ted Talk

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Sometimes, when I'm in the shower, I like to pretend I am giving a Ted Talk. It’s one of those secret dreams of mine I haven’t shared with anyone.

Yes, one day I want to give a Ted Talk and I often practice in the shower. It goes a little something like this. 

I’m introduced and eloquently float out and take my spot center stage. I stand before an audience of hundreds waiting for me to speak. To bare my soul, share my truth and change their lives in some way.

Then maybe all the pain I've experienced in mine will finally have meaning. 

I pause and scan the audience as the nerves settle in my belly. And then I begin. Words flow gracefully from my lips as I deliberately and meticulously speak. 

Line after line, I stand before the audience with grace and ease and pure poetry escapes from my mouth and I feel alive. As if I am finally living in full alignment with my purpose.

And this is what I would say:

When I was a little girl I was desperate to be accepted and loved by everyone. 

I learned early on that if I said and did the right things, molding myself to every person in my life, I would always feel a sense of ease and acceptance. 

I would always feel, loved. 

But that really wasn't the case. 

As I grew older, trying to create that sense of peace started to be become like draping individual chains over my shoulders. Eventually the stories and facade became too heavy. I hit a wall and could no longer continue carrying that weight around. 

This was about the time I stumbled across my first personal development book. It was a few months after I turned twenty and I had just made my very first big life decision all on my own. And I was scared as hell to go down this new path. 

I had made the decision to drop out of college. 

This decision proceeded a massive nervous breakdown in the middle of a raging frat party. My friends found me sobbing uncontrollably, wrapped in a tiny ball sitting on a bed in the basement. They couldn't console me. I was unconsolable. In shock.

They took me home and called my mom. It was 2 am. The next weekend I was driving back to Seattle to tell my family I was leaving school and in that one decision, I felt one of the weights release and fall to the ground. 

This decision changed the course of my life. It sparked something deep within me that would take years to turn into a full fledge fire. 

You see, it was the first moment I realize that I am not going to be for everyone and neither would my decisions and I had to be okay with that. It sparked the courage to finally explore what  I really wanted and ask some really big questions. 

Years later I stand before you with one message and one message only. I truly hope you take it in. 

Under no circumstances, whatsoever, are you going to be for everyone either. And that is okay. 

It's easy to get caught up in what other's think of our lives and it's really easy to paint a pretty picture that we have it all figured out and that our lives are picture perfect.

We do this because we are all longing for the same thing; to be loved and accepted. 

But here is the thing, no matter how hard you try, I promise you, there will always be someone who is just itching to find your flaws. To point out your mistakes, bring you down to 'reality,' burst your bubble and keep you feeling small. 

Certain individuals will look your life and criticize and judge no matter how perfect you paint it.

So drop the act. Lighten up your load a little. 

There are always going to be people who have so many opinions about YOUR life because they are too afraid to step back and address the areas they are unhappy with in their own.  

Caring too much what family and friends, acquaintances, and strangers think is a paralyzing behavior. It will prevent you from serving your purpose and doing those things that your heart desires. 

I've realized that when I get caught up in thinking about what I should say and do with each and every person in my life I’m actually deeply neglecting my own needs, wants and desires. I'm completely out of alignment and in some place in my life I am not giving myself the love I deserve but rather, judging myself in some way. 

As cliché as it may sound, it took a year of dealing with a rare cancer diagnoses to get some real clarity into the trajectory of my life and accept this one very crucial and important thing; I will not, under any circumstance whatsoever, be for everyone.

I may not even be for people in my very own family and I'm learning to be okay with this too. 

Every single day I have to fight the urge to crawl back under the covers where it is safe and warm. Where people can't see me. Where I can play as small and feel as safe as I want to. 

Why? All because I'm scared of what other's think? 

I’m not perfect. I’m a work in progress and I still find myself grasping for acceptance and the idea that to be loved, I have to say and do everything in accordance with everyone else.

 I still fall short of my best self every single day.

However, I often think about those who conquered great things in their lives didn't do so by playing small or spending too much time caring about how they looked to others. If they had, they would have never done the thing that helped the person that changed the lives. Now would they?

And in the great words of Oprah, this is what I know to for sure:

You will not, under any circumstance whatsoever, be for everyone.

You will not, under any circumstance whatsoever, be accepted by all.

And you will absolutely, under no circumstance whatsoever, be able to make everyone happy.

And you will absolutely, under no circumstance whatsoever, be able to fit a square peg in a round hole. So stop trying.

So please, I ask this of you with so much love in my heart, just be you. Every single beautiful part of you. 

If we continue living our lives for everyone else, we will never truly know what we are capable of creating. Your purpose is in no way shape or forms the same as any other person's in this lifetime. When you step back and look at it that way, maybe you can find the strength to act in accordance with your own self, your own desires, your own needs. 

I want to leave you with just one more thing before I go.

Before you open your mouth to speak to anyone, pause for just a moment and ask yourself this, "Is what I am about to say imparting my own judgments onto them? If so, don't say it.  

When I have nothing more to say I turn off the water and dry myself off. 

Then I go back to my life and leave my dream in the shower for another day. 

Ah, Cancer...it's been awhile.

"I do not understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us." -- Anne Lamott

Well, I'm pretty sure the title of this post says it all but just to be clear...

On Friday, March 17th, I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer with an unknown primary source. 

For those of you who are a little uncertain what metastatic cancer means, it is cancer that has spread from a primary location to another location in your body. 

Yeah, it's still a little hard for me to wrap my head around too. 

However, if I'm honest, it really wasn't that shocking given the golf ball size swollen lymph node in my groin. Hearing the words come out of my doctors mouth was still, needless to say, disheartening. 

For me, the last six weeks have been filled with doctor appointments, antibiotics, ultrasounds, CT scans, a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy, biopsies and waiting.

A lot of waiting.  

And you probably want to know the story, where I'm at and how I'm moving forward with this very strange and unfamiliar diagnoses. 

I've been debating on whether or not to share and how much to share because there is so much unknown still. Part of me wants to keep this tightly wrapped in my protective bubble of a handful of family and friends because it makes me feel safe. Ultimately, I think there is great power in vulnerability. I think there is a power so mighty and fierce in the collective whole, and that in some strange way, that by sharing, something great will come from this. 

In some strange way, from the moment I was diagnoses, I've felt this, in an almost unexplainable way, was a gift that will unfold with time. And part of my purpose in this life is to share, with the hopes that someone reads something that may help them. 

So here is the story, where I am at with all of it and what I am currently doing about it. 

THAT LYMPH NODE IS HUGE!

About six months ago I went to the doctor for a swollen lymph node in my left groin. It was big enough to be concerning and it was painful and also coincided with another infection but my doctor didn't seem too concerned. Even when in my gut I wanted to press for more tests, I ignored it and kicking and screaming, got on the antibiotics she prescribed and the infection and lymph node went away with a seven day dose. Two weeks later, I was climbing Mt. Whitney and my swollen lymph node was a thing of the past. I didn't really think much of it other then my initial gut feeling of, "Something feels off here."

Then at the end of January I developed another infection and the lymph node became swollen once again and started to become extremely painful. I decided to go back to my doctor and see what she thought. However, this time I went back to my OBGYN instead as I had a better relationship with her and I knew she would be fully on board to do anything to get to the bottom of this. 

 We decided to put me on stronger dose of antibiotics for 14 days because there was a chance that if this was again an infection, it could be contained in the lymph node. So, again kicking and screaming, I started this gnarly dose of antibiotics but when nothing changed, we both became concerned and decided that we needed to explore this further. 

The following week I went in to have an ultrasound which showed that there was definitely an abnormal growth. Duh. I'm no medical professional but the golf ball size lymph node in my groin was a pretty good indication that something was abnormal. 

Then came the biopsy; which, let me just say, I've been poked and prodded so many times in my life and I usually barely blink and eye, but this one got me good. More so emotionally then anything.

And then it was back to waiting. Lots of waiting. Which is always the worst. 

Then on Friday, after an emotional week of doctor calls and waiting, I got the call from my doctor with the final pathology report:  Metastatic Cancer. I had cancer, it had spread to the lymph node and we have no idea where it started in my body. 

hey, what's up your um....?

Serendipitously, I had already had my annual colonoscopy schedule for March 21st and my mom was flying in March 20th to take me to my appointment and spend a little quality time with me. My colonoscopy is a part of my yearly screening for colon cancer, which I had when I was twenty-four. 

Part of me thought this was going to be it. I was almost sure of it. But after my upper and lower scope showed no signs of stomach or colorectal cancer, I was rather shocked (and relieved). We could cross those off the list. Can you see the excitement in my eyes right after my procedure. ;)

Then on Thursday, March 23rd I got a CT scan with a barium contrast to indicate if the primary cancer was anywhere from my lungs down to my reproductive organs. Other then the lymph node in my groin, the scans revealed nothing. No masses or tumors here either. 

This super 'delicious' stuff is what you take before a CT scan. I kept saying it was my "banana milkshake" to my mom while singing, "my milkshake brings all the boys to the ground..." as I chugged the chalky paste down. 

So now what? 

An interesting thing happens when you are diagnosed with cancer. You want answers and you want them RIGHT NOW. You want to know exactly what you need to do right this very instant to make this thing go away. 

Time stands still yet everything else is moving so damn fast around you. 

Its like in the movies where the main character is standing in a busy intersection and everything is racing around them at lightening speed and you are just standing there staring. How can life really be going on around you when YOU just found out you have cancer? 

The big "C" word consumes your every waking moment. If you are extremely proactive like myself, you are researching any and everything you can. From possible forms of cancer that metastasizes to this specific lymph node, to holistic and natural treatments and protocols I can start incorporating right now to get the body ready for whatever may come, cancer is on the brain at all times. 

More then anything though, this has been a huge exercise in seeing how far I've come and leaning into the unknown. I've been forced to dig deep and bring forth everything I've learned over the last few years about coping and thriving through the unfamiliar waters of the unknown without completely melting down. 

And throughout this all, I've felt a sense of calmness and peace I've never felt before. As if, everything tool I've learned, from mediation to self-love and forgiveness, to eating in a way to support my body through this, to asking people for exactly what I need, has armed me with everything I need to get through this patiently. 

Because unfortunately, there is a lot more waiting ahead of me. 

And that is where I am at now. 

My case has now been turned over to the Moore Cancer Center oncology department at UCSD and is being reviewed by the oncologist on staff. I hope to get an appointment with them in the next week. 

But for now I wait. 

I imagine next will be a PET scan to indicate potential hotspots and possible surgery to remove the lymph node.

So now the big question. How am I emotionally with all of this?

Initially it was hard to hear that once again, cancer had found it's way back into my life. Being faced with it at such and young age and watching members of my family and friends go through it for several years, I'm no stranger to cancer. But here's the thing, no matter how many times you hear the word, it's still just as shocking when someone says, "You have cancer."

Then throw in the word metastatic and it can send you into a bit of a panic. 

However, after the initial shock wore off and as my colonoscopy and CT scan came back clean, I'm optimistic that this isn't as bad as I had originally thought. That hopefully, it's just some weird rare cancer that is confined to my lymph but looks like metastatic cancer.  

In the meantime I've put myself on a super strict Alkaline diet, working with my natropath/Chinese medicine doctor incorporating as many holistic and natural therapies as I can right now to get my body and immune system as strong as possible.

I strongly believe the body can heal itself when given the right tools. I also believe that sometimes Western medicine is needed and this is one of those times. So I'll be using both to heal from whatever is going awry in my body. 

As I wait to gather more information I'll fight like heck to do whatever I can in the meantime to start the healing process. And that looks a little something like this:

Immune supporting therapies
Alkiline, organic diet ONLY
Colonics and enemas to properly detox
Therapy and Reiki
Prayer
Visualization and mediation
Essential Oils (Frankincense and Myrrh) and many others
Laughter - lots of it!
And I'm reading and talking to EVERYONE I can about all my options. I'm not going to rush into anything until I know everything I can. 

Below is one of the books I'm reading. 

And the lemon tree my mom bought me... when life gives you lemons...you drinks LOTS of lemon water for detoxification. 

I know some of you may role your eyes at this but there are countless stories and research out there that support the incredible benefits of Integrative Medicine and that is the only way I'll be comfortable treating this. 

At the end of the day, it's very personal. Although I choose to share openly because I believe sharing and connecting with others is not only healing for myself but could possibly help someone else, this all comes down to one thing; what feels right and the best to me. 

And I truly hope you learn to apply that same idea to your own life. 

In the meantime, I have a favor to ask all of you. Whether you pray, meditate, think positively, climb big mountains to feel closer to your source, please keep me in mind when you are doing all of it. 

Keep me in your thoughts, your prayers, your meditations, your light. When you are doing things that make you happiest, I hope you can radiate that joy my way. I believe in miracles. I believe in the power of the unknown. And I believe, more then anything, that I will get through this with your love, laughter, and light shining my way. 

I plan to document this journey as much as I can through this blog and videos. So if you want to be apart of it, please check back regularly. 

Until then, so much love to all of you. 

Love, 

Amanda

MAGIC Super Food almond butter cups

So, who loves chocolate? Who loves almond butter? And who loooves them together? 

Thought so. Me too.

I wanted to lighten the mood a bit since the last two post were a little on the heavy side. If you haven't read them you can find them here and here. Real stuff gets talked about. 

You know I'm all for real talk. I love super vulnerable conversations where life gets dissected through powerful discussion but I also love light and fluffy and funny and well, food. And I love sharing foods I love with you. 

And part of balance is knowing when to add in more of the opposite. Too heavy? Lighten the load. Too funny, throw in a bit of serious, real talk. Someone once told me that I tend to error on the side of serious more often then not and the truth is, I have a wicked and witty sense of humor. Balance.

Life is all about finding B  A   L  A  N  C  E

Anyways. 

So we both love chocolate and we both love almond butter and we especially love them together. 

I thought I had a really good feeling about you. 

This little treat is good. So good in fact that I suggest you make extra and keep them in the freezer. However, even though they are chalked full of superfood goodness, two will feed your soul, all of them at once will probably induce a wicked episode of self-loathing and cyclical negative talk. And we've all come too far to go back down that crazy road again, right? I don't recommend it. Moderation is key. 

Honestly, that's my biggest problem with healthy treats. I can convince myself that since they are 'healthy' I can have more then I probably should. I'm like, "oh but they are chalked full of healthy antioxidants like camu camu and goji berries and adaptogens like Ashwagandha and Maca. Oh and plant-based proteins and pre and probiotics."

See, the mind can trick us into a lot if we aren't careful. 

But I do think you will love these. And they are actually good for you. In moderation. 

Balance. 

There are only four ingredients, one being Shakeology Superfood. If you read this post you saw that I introduced you to this new and amazing staple in my day. And if you know me, I'm a huge believer in getting your nutrition through real foods so I've always been a bit weary of shakes/meal replacement and in all honesty, I would never back something if I didn't truly believe in it. I'm WAY too honest of a person. As in I can barely even tell a little white lie without a neon sign blinking over my head shouting I'M SO NOT TELLING THE TRUTH RIGHT NOW!  

With that being said, adding this to my daily routine has been a huge game changer. And here is what I've noticed over the last six weeks. Coincidence?  Maybe. Probably not however. It's probably real magic. 

I've been drinking a smoothie every day for just over a month now and this is what I've observed. I am not a doctor and I am not, in any way, shape or form, claiming that this is why these things have changed. Other then being more consistent with my workouts, Shakeology is the only thing that I've changed.  


+ Better sleep. I don't wake up multiple times throughout the night like I usually do. No more night sweats either thank God. I was going through up to three shirts a night which was making me super stoked for menopause!! (Insert sarcastic tone here). 

+ Less sugar cravings. I've always had a huge sweet tooth. Once when I was a kid a family friend took my older brother and I to the candy store and told us we could each get a pound. Little did she know that my older brother was basically boy genius and proceeded to find the lightest treats he could to fill his bad. Naturally I, like with every thing else he did, followed suit. 

Those days are long gone because I don't eat refined sugar anymore but even natural sugar starts to add up over time and was zapping the energy right out of me. If I'm craving something sweet I eat one of these babes below or make my blueberry chocolate superfood {milk}shake. I'll share that soon. 

+ (THIS IS THE BIGGEST ONE!) My Skin is GLOWING! I've had multiple people tell me that I have this new glow. That I'm radiating happiness and a shiny, smooth complexion.  And I ain't mad about that compliment! Fo sure! This has to do with a lot of inner work I've been doing but I know that it also has to do with what I'm putting in my body.  

My adult acne is virtually gone. Except with the mild breakout right before my period, it's just up and went away. And I aint mad about that either.  I have been struggling with some serious adult acne for the past two years. Like really bad, puberty kind of acne. 

It started right after my marriage ended which is kind of the last thing you want to deal with when you are already dealing with a million other things. Stress. Life changes. Emotions. Er, LOTS of emotions. Change in diet (going from strictly vegan to eating meat again). All of these could have contributed to the acne but within the last 6 weeks, my skin has seriously never looked better. Check it out! Disregard the age spots and swim goggle eye circles and just focus on the beautiful, acne-free skin. Despite the distressed look on my face, I'm pretty happy that after all this time, my skin is finally free and clear of something I already went through when I was a young adolescent. 

+ More energy. So much energy. I haven't had this much energy in I don't even know how long. I've mentioned this before but I have something called Hoshimoto's which is an autoimmune disorder where your body basically attacks your thyroid tissue like it's a foreign object. It can send me into crazy fits of exhaustion and fatigue. I call them my Hashi 'flare ups' but the truth is, they knock me on my behind. I have to take naps *gasp, during the day and I'm not, nor have I ever been, a napper. For the last six weeks I've been virtually nap-free. Even when I had bronchitis. #winning 

+ Its given me the ability to read minds and fly. Okay, I'm kidding on this one. Or am I? Mwahahaha!

So, as I've said, coincidence, maybe but I'm thinking that Shakeology is the cats meow (and we all know how much I love cats) and I've just landed on a gold mine full of a magical elixir of health and wellness. It gives me the same feeling as if I were to walk into a room full of kittens and puppies. I just want to jump up and down clapping my hands while letting out little shrills of happy cheer.  #myideaofheaven. I think I just may be a lifer. If you need any more evidence that Shakeology IS the cat's meow read these.

So without further ado. 

I'd like to introduce you to...


What's you'll need:

1 scoop Chocolate or Vegan Chocolate Shakeology (I use vegan)
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1/4 cup organic coconut butter
1/4 cup raw almond butter (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
 


How to make:

Serving size: roughly 12 (that depends on your pouring ability)

1. In a sauce pan, melt coconut oil and coconut butter on medium heat. Watch carefully because the coconut butter will burn if you just let it sit so stir, stir, stir. Once melted, turn off heat and allow to cool. Not all the way until it's hard but so it's temperate. The Shakeology is loaded with raw super foods that you don't want to heat up too much so don't add it while melting the coconut oil and butter. 

2. Line your muffin tin with paper liners.  I have one that has smaller cup sizes. I think they are about 1 inch in diameter. Pour a small amount of your Shakeology coconut butter/oil mixture into the bottom of each liner and place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to harden. There should be about half of the mixture left once all the cups are filled. 

3. Remove hardened mixture from fridge and scoop a small amount of almond butter into the center of each cup. Small amount as in about 1/2 tsp. Place back in fridge to harden. About 10 minutes. 

4. Fill each cup up using the remainder of the Shakeology coconut butter/oil mixture and place back in fridge to harden the rest of the way. 

5. Enjoy!

Keep these guys in the fridge as they will melt at room temperature. 

Interested in Shakeology? Email me with any questions. I'm serious, this stuff is like liquid GOLD. It sparkles in the sunlight just like Edward from Twilight and I know just how much you love him. 

 

Lots of love and magic to you, 



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!
 

 

I lived.

The other morning as I was driving from one errand to the next, I unexpectantly found myself in tears. I quickly scanned my body, physically and emotionally, wondering where this sudden burst of emotion came from. I reflected on what I was thinking about right before the waterworks and suddenly it all made sense. 

You see, that day marked eleven years since I sat in that cold and sterile doctors office with my mom and dad and heard those words that I naively thought I'd never hear. 

The tears that streamed down my cheeks weren't actually because I was sad, quite the contrary. Those were tears of joy and gratitude because I have had the opportunity to live.  To be honest, I'm not sure I've ever truly experienced these kind of tears before. My whole body reverberated with joy and happiness as I felt the heat and warmth of those tears slide down my cheeks.  

As I drove down Encinitas Boulevard, fully sobbing, I gave into this uncontrollable experience. 

ELEVEN F-ING YEARS.

How did I get so lucky?

I shared a picture on my Instagram talking about how every day is an opportunity to wake up and remind yourself that you are, indeed, so very lucky because the truth is, we are all on borrowed time. My health and wellness, they mean everything to me and at any moment, during any doctors appointment, they can be taken away from me.

Today I treat my body like the temple it is so hopefully I never have to deal with cancer again. Each day is a new beginning, an opportunity to use those struggles to grow into the person I am and to help others. I GET to live life to the fullest. To make smart and healthy food choices to nourish a body that works very hard to support me in life. I workout and eat clean foods not for vanity reasons but because like all of you, I deserve to live a long, healthy and happy life. Or do my best trying. 

I know it can sound cliche and it's thrown around a lot but ask someone who has almost had it all taken away from them or ask a person who is dying a slow death and I guarantee that each one will say the same thing, life IS a gift. ALL OF IT, every single moment, even the shit that happens in between the amazing and sweet moments. 

There are two truths I know for certain; no one gets out alive and many are taken WAY too soon. When you put it that way, how are we all not waking up every single day, jumping out of bed and shouting "fuck yeah! I GET to do this again!" 

I think the biggest lessons I've learned through cancer is that we are on borrowed time and no matter what is going on in my life, I have to find some kind of peace and happiness moment to moment. This isn't to say I am always able to live this way. I have to remind myself often by saying, "Smile and live Amanda. Stop taking this all so bloody seriously!" I usually have to say this to myself daily. 

We all could probably stand to give credit where credit is due for where you are right now. Even the mundane and ordinary are pretty special moments when you compare it to the alternative. Even when things feel heavy and big and you wonder how you will make it through this next moment, think about it from the perspective of the dying. I'm sure they'd give anything to be in your shoes. 

Slow down, lean into what you are experiencing and let the flow of life happen because you get a new day to fucking do this again. You get a new day, another opportunity, a second chance. Stop trying to force or control things. Let life happen and oh yeah, bloody smile already! 

This is all leading you somewhere. I promise. 

If one day I am told I have cancer again and that I only have a short amount of time to live, I truly hope that I can look back on the life I lived and say, "Well, this isn't the news I was hoping for but at least I F-ING LIVED."

I lived every day awake and conscious of where I currently am and where I want to go.

I lived every single day telling those I love just how much. 

I lived every day not holding back. 

I lived every day giving thanks for everything and I mean everything. Even the shit.  

I lived every day making choices that were aligned with my values and what is in my heart and not because I felt like I had to in order to please others or it was the acceptable thing to do.

I lived every day with the hope that I could make one person smile. 

I lived every day letting go of the petty bullshit, letting others off the hook, giving second chances, and letting go of grudges. 

I lived every day loving so big that I felt unstoppable. That I felt as if my heart just may explode with love. 

I lived every day remembering that I am on borrowed time. 

I lived every day dancing my ass of in my living room not caring who sees or that I have two left feet. 

I lived every day not giving a flying fuck what others thought of me because I followed what was in my heart and that my friends, that's where the GOOD stuff lives. 

I lived every day as an example that no matter what happens, you can still find a reason to smile and laugh. 

I lived every day giving thanks for the little things just as much as the big. 

And, I lived every day with one intention, to live my truth and to live with integrity. 

And sure, maybe I'll look back and see that I never climb that huge mountain or I never hiked the Pacific Crest Trail or jumped out of an airplane. Maybe I'll never write that New York Bestseller or visit all the countries I hoped to but despite it all, I will look back and be able to say with certainty and the greatest of conviction that I did, in fact, LIVE. 

So I ask you this, right now, how are you going to live?