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. 


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. 


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?