Vanilla Almond Creme Smoothie

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I made the most decadent smoothie today!! I was inspired by another smoothie that I found on instagram called a Pecan Creme smoothie. I made a Vanilla Almond Creme smoothie that tastes like it should be dessert – but it’s full of healthy ingredients!! 

To make your own, you will need: 

3 frozen bananas 

3 dates, pitted 

1 tsp almond extract 

1 serving coconut water 

Blend it all up and enjoy!!

True Life: I tried a Fad Diet

I know you guys are going to think I am crazy. BUT I actually tried a fad diet. I know, I know, I always talk about how horrible they are. But this one realllly intrigued me. I heard about Raw Till 4 from my sister. Both of my sisters are totally health-conscious and they came across the Raw Till 4 phenomenon. The gist of this plan is that you eat a lot of raw fruit every day until 4 PM and then eat some type of natural, cooked carbohydrate for dinner (think baked potatoes, brown rice pasta, quinoa) with some veggies. The diet is based on the book called 80-10-10. The diet is 80% carbohydrates, 10% fat and 10% protein. It is a low-fat, totally vegan diet focusing on natural and organic carbohydrates. It is based on the science of the digestion of carbohydrates – carbs are digested extremely quickly in the body and the glucose from natural carbs are used immediately for energy. Hence, you should have more energy, immediately. This sounded awesome to me because 1) I love carbs and 2) I love fruit. So, of course I tried it. In the first few days, I made a lot of fruit smoothies. I made every concoction I thought possible. Banana with strawberry, banana mango, banana mango pineapple, you name it, I made it. I got a little tired of not chewing, so I started eating snacks like blueberries, strawberries, and a LOT of bananas. The Raw Till 4 diet is extremely focused on bananas (they are super good for you). Not bad, because I love bananas! For dinner, most days I made a gluten-free, brown rice pasta with a low-sodium marinara sauce. This was mainly a transition meal because I was cutting out a lot of what I normally ate. I would sometimes add veggies like zucchini, spinach, tomatoes, or kale to this. It was totally amazing. (Have I said how much I love carbs?) I was planning on transitioning from this meal to mainly potatoes and vegetable soups. I had so much energy when I ate this way. It was so incredible. I was doing better at work, focusing more, not enduring the 3PM slump, and had absolutely no cravings. This is one of the weirdest things that has ever happened to me, because I have always battled sugar and bread cravings. It felt like a miracle. Disclaimer: The Raw till 4 diet requires you to eat A LOT of food. They want you to eat about 2000(for the ladies) to 3000(if you’re a guy) calories a day from fruit and other carbs. This is because of the quick digestion of fruit – your body will actually use all of those calories as energy. Totally incredible. So, I bet you are wondering what happened. Here it is: I went on vacation. I went to Hawaii for a week, but even before I went, I weighed myself and had gained a few pounds. I was obviously not happy about that, because I was in Hawaii. In a bikini. Anyway, it is totally normal to gain weight at first on this plan because you are eating more calories than your body is used to. Surprisingly, many women eat wayyy to little calories. I could write another entire post on this subject. Anyway, I went on vacation and of course ate a little off track. I still ate a ton of fruit, but also had meat, alcohol, dairy, etc. When I got back, I started to go back to the Raw Till 4 diet, but realized that I needed some more protein in my diet to feel full again. Carbs go through you so quickly, I felt like I was always hungry on Raw Till 4. Even though you are ALWAYS EATING I never really felt totally satisfied. I am happy that I tried it because I have always wanted to go Raw and now have a renewed confidence in myself. I just know that right now isn’t my time. I would definitely be open to trying it again in the future, but for now, I am sticking to lean proteins and lots of fruits and veggies. Let me know what you think – would you ever try Raw Till 4? Do you think I’m crazy?! I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments 🙂

Coffee Banana Ice Cream

coffee ice cream

You guys all went crazy over this chocolate banana coffee ice cream on Facebook so I’ll be extra nice and give y’all the recipe!!

I created the eighth world wonder on a Saturday morning while I was doing a Sudoku puzzle and my coffee went cold. I was getting a little hungry and was going to make up some breakfast when I thought – why don’t I use this coffee into a mind-blowing breakfast?! That may have been the best life decision I’ve ever made, because I created this delicious breakfast that I’ve had every day since. Check it out:

Ingredients:
One and a half frozen bananas
1/2 cup cold black coffee (brewed then cooled)
small handful of milk chocolate chips

Super simple directions:
Blend frozen bananas with coffee. A high-powered blender works best (check out the Vitamix) because it will make it super smooth and rich without having to add too much liquid. After creating a smooth consistency, pour your ‘cream into a pretty bowl and top with chocolate chips.

Tip:
Don’t tell anyone what you are making or they will want some.

Enjoy!

xoxo,

Amanda

Crazy Amazing Healthy Iced Chai (Recipe)

Holy moly this knock-off chai is going to knock your socks off!! It always gives me crazy energy, no crash, and really helps me focus – I am extra productive every time I drink this!! (If you can’t tell by all of my explanation marks, I made one this morning)

I had to share the recipe so that y’all can get chai-crazy also! Be warned though – this is addicting. The tricky part is that there is NO ADDED SUGAR, but it’s still nice and sweet. It is completely natural and made with whole foods, but the taste is out of this world. Everyone in my office goes crazy over it. I seriously have to guard my mason jar when I make it. So… drumroll, please.

Here it is!

Crazy Amazing Healthy Iced Chai

{ You will need a high-powered blender }

Ingredients:

15 to 17 fresh medjool California dates, pitted

About a liter of fresh, filtered water

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Blend all ingredients for at least 1 minute. It feels like forever but maybe you can do a little dance whilst you wait. Be patient, grasshopper. It is ready when you can see absolutely NO chunks of date blending still. When it is done, pour into a glass with ice – you will probably need to hold back the foam with a spoon until it’s full. Top with foam and cinnamon and drink it in front of everyone to make them jealous! Bonus points for a cute straw.

Warning! This drink gives you tons of energy but does not have caffeine (which is good). BUT if you are used to drinking caffeine in the morning, make sure you slowly phase out. Don’t be a lunatic like I was and decide to go cold-turkey on your daily coffee. You will get migraines and want to die. Lesson: drink a little less coffee each day.

I love getting appreciation! Leave a comment below to let me know how excited you are to make it – or how addicted you get once you try it.

Enjoy!

xoxo,

Amanda

My Most-Recommended Books

Happy Spring!!

I love Spring because it comes with a feeling of refresh-ness. Everything is washed away by the rain and the sun comes out and everything just sparkles. I love spring cleaning and gutting out my house. Getting rid of things that no longer serve me feels sooo good! Plus I love the way it feels to have a light + airy house. So un-cluttered and so much better for my state of mind.

Along with my super-exciting spring cleaning, I love to use the spring season to catch up on personal development books. I’m always striving to be a better version of myself and love to read books from experts in other fields. So, without further ado, here are my all-time favorite books that I recommend to all of my clients (and now you, too!):

1. Make Every Man Want You: How to be So Irresistible You’ll Barely Keep From Dating Yourself! by Marie Forleo: Now don’t go judging this book by it’s cover. I was recommended this by someone who was married (not looking for a boyfried/husband). I love Marie’s YouTube videos (she covers a lot of personal development) and I really value her opinion. She brings up so many simple, easy ways to improve your daily life. I keep this book on my nightstand to browse when I feel like I need a little pick-me-up. Kelly Ripa says that this book “gives every woman the tools to unlock her inner magnet.” Sold.

make every man want you

2. Eat to Live by Joel Furhman. This guy is a-mazing! He really goes in-depth about eating for longevity and avoiding heart disease, cancer, and other nasties. Best part: he includes a ton of delish recipes in the end! My mom and I love to get together and make these recipes – they always come out tasting flavorful & fresh. Yum!

eat

3. Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this book is my bible. I would not be who I am today without this book. I’m not even exaggerating. Kris Carr taught me so many invaluable ways to take care of my body that I had NEVER even heard about before. Kris was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago and has stopped the spreading of it due to changes in her lifestyle. She is totally amazing and a huge inspiration. Her book really promotes vegetarianism and also includes lots of recipes. But, if you are looking for a super incredible cookbook, I’d definitely recommend my go-to: Crazy Sexy Kitchen. I cook something out of this book almost every week and I can even say the recipes are boyfriend-approved! It’s not diet food; she creates recipes using whole foods. She has everything you could think of – super simple or more fancy-pants. You got breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, appetizers, snacks, and drinks covered with this baby!

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crazy sexy kitchen

4. The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. Holy macaroni! Danny-pants goes around the world to study the reasons why these groups of people are living the longest, healthiest lives in the world. He tears apart the differences between them & us. He interviews people who are over 100 years old, and still super active. This book completely changed my outlook on longevity and happiness.

blue zones

5. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. This is a novel; completely not educational but I recently read it and loved it. It’s a great read to take on your spring vacation! It was in Lauren Conrad’s book club so of course I had to… And, totally awesome.

where'd you go

Anyway, I hope you get a chance to read at least one (if not all) of these incredible books. I’d love to hear which one you can’t wait to read in the comments below! Or give me some more recommendations for summer reads – I’ll be needing them soon!

 

How to Sleep like a baby

Hi my sleepy little babes! I hope you are doing just fab. I know I am! I wanted to tell you a little story today.

I used to have horrrrrrrrrrible insomnia. Like, I would be awake all night lying in bed. Bored to death, but unable to get to sleep. It sucked, big time. After a full night of no sleep, I would force myself to go to school (this was during college) and then go to work. During this sad time, I would drink a crapload of coffee. I love coffee, but… those were not my best days. Plus, I would be mrs. grumpy pants all day long. For DAYS. Watch out, friends and family!

Don’t worry, I’ve since apologized. But, sorry again if I missed anyone.

Getting a full nights sleep is so important not just for beauty reasons – supple skin, less wrinkles, skin rejuvenation – but for physical reasons like more energy, better digestion, and less cravings. It is really amazing how much a lack of sleep can mess you up. Back in the day, I would sleep either 6 hours a night or 4 hours a night when I did sleep. This is no joke. Now, I sleep a full night of 8-9 hours a night. Hallelujah! I feel so much better and I look a heck of a lot better too – my skin glows, my energy levels are soaring, and I don’t need a Venti iced coffee every day.

Sleep is a huge part of living well. It is something that I talk to every one of my clients about. To get an optimal nights sleep, there are a few things you need to do. Check it out:

1. Tire yourself out during the day. There is no way you can be sitting at a desk all day and expect to sleep like a baby. Your body thinks that you have been resting all day. Doing some kind of movement during the day that will break a sweat is a great way to exert your body and make sure you sleep like a log.

2. Drink a lot of water during the day- not at night. When I was in Nutrition School, I learned this totally simple and obvious way to stop getting up at night. Don’t drink liquids before bed! Duh! If you drink lots of water during the day, you should be fine to cut it off an hour or two before bed. This will prevent you from waking up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Technically, you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces per day. So if you weigh 150 lbs, drink at least 75 oz of water a day. No shame in being an over-achiever, though!

3. Skip the nightcap. Don’t be an alcoholic. Drinking before bed will make you dehydrated, and more likely to wake up in the middle of the night thirsty. It also messes with your blood sugar levels, which will make you wake up in the middle of the night and prevent you from going back to sleep. Talk about a buzz kill! If you like to have a drink, stick to one glass of wine with dinner.

4. Create a ritual. Having a bedtime routine is more important than you think – spending a few minutes each night getting ready for bed will let your body know its time to relax and catch the next train to Zzz town. I like to get in my pj’s, make a cup of tea, wash my face real good and put on lots of moisturizer. I used to like to read before bed, but sometimes it keeps me up because I like those gruesome murder mysteries. Not the best thing to read before bed. It is fun to read a mag before bed sometimes. Just try to stay away from computer and TV screens. They will mess with your brain chemicals and make it harder to sleep well.

I hope that you all use all of these tips because sleeping is one of the best things you can do for your health. A good nights sleep can help manage stress, prevent overeating, and make you look freaking beautiful. So get after it, girlfriend!

Have a fab time in sleepy town tonight!

xoxo,

Amanda

I Quit Working Out

Hello my little sweetums!! I hope you are off to an amazing new year.  I am having a blast setting all of my goals for the year- I can’t wait to share my super exciting new programs with you!!
I know lots of people who made new years resolutions to “work out more” and “eat less.”  I’m sure by now you know how much I hate goals like this.  Making your body suffer is no way to live – believe me, I know.  Been there, done that, moved on to better ways.  Thank God.
I thought you would be interested to know that BEFORE January 1st, I made a goal to quit working out. 

Because working out sucks. I hate the feeling of dread and shame when I know it’s been too long and I should  to make time to go do some repetitive exercises. I always put working out on the bottom of my to-do list and I feel pure hatred for those women who are so motivated and constantly checking in at the gym. Like, awesome for you, but I’m not feelin it today.

See, I used to think that every day I needed to go for a run or get on the stairmaster or something. I felt like I had to get in a good hour (at least) of intense cardio and weight training to really make it count. I thought that would be the only way to keep my body fit and agile.  I dreaded it every day.  A lot of days, I wouldn’t even do it because it just never sounded fun.

After years of feeling like this, I started to wonder why I was even doing this to myself in the first place. I want a life full of fun and happiness, not stinky treadmills and shame.  Where was this “working out” really getting me? I didn’t feel any happier or like I was having more fun.  

After daylight savings time last year, I quit working out. I decided I had done enough running and training and treadmills and ellipticals. It wasn’t making me happy. I quit.

By quitting working out, I gave myself time to recover from all of those hard runs and to really listen to my body. It feels so amazing. It has been over two months since I quit, and I feel better than ever. I also have not gained one pound {!!} 

Now that the work out dread is behind me, I spend my days having fun. I do things that I enjoy. I still go hiking on the weekends (but it’s definitely not on my to-do list) and I still take my dog on extra-long walks when I have the time. I do more yoga and stretching than ever before.  I do more back bends and hand stands – I am seriously determined to learn how to do a back flip this year {these crazy youtube videos are getting to me}.

Most days, I feel amazing. I wake up and I jump and dance around as I get ready. I take breaks away from the computer during the day to get outside and play, and when I come home, I have dance parties with my puppy and boyfriend.

I am not “working out” but I am not sedentary.

I feel awesome. I am finally giving my body what it craves, not what others tell me I need.

Living this way has completely forced me to become more patient and careful with my body. I listen to what she wants. If she is tired, I let her rest. If she is hungry, I ask her what she craves, and that is what she gets.  It is one amazing way to live.  
I would love to hear what you are going to give up in order to live a more fun and fulfilling lifestyle – you can let me know in the comments below.  Can’t wait to chat 🙂
xoxox,
Amanda