When I’m not in grab and go mode, it’s always fun to add a little flare to your smoothie and serve it up in something other than a Shaker bottle or Mason jar. I love using one of my favorite, fall-inspired wine glasses and filling it to the top with nutritious goodness like this smoothie.

Lately I’ve been having a smoothie for lunch (it used to be my morning staple) and given it’s packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats and carbs, I never feel like I am hungry or unsatisfied. As we learned in IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition), we are all unique when it comes to our digestion… Bio-individuality has been a life saver for me and my own gut health challenges and the sooner we learn to trust our guts, the healthier we will be. I get so passionate about this having lived through it for many years with people in my own life who didn’t “believe me” when I would be doubled over in pain saying I didn’t feel well and that… I really can’t digest that ice cream or cheese like you can… and just because we are related, doesn’t mean we can eat the same things and feel good after eating them (wink wink). It has been an eye opener for many of my clients as well, as so many of them are given a recommended nutrition plan based on the sport they are training for rather than their own individual body needs.  Moral of the story…trust your gut!

xx, a-m

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Pictured here: ½ cup of organic frozen blueberries, ½ pack frozen unsweetened acai, a handful of organic spinach, ½ avocado, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, teaspoon of chia seeds, cinnamon and plant-based vanilla protein powder topped with walnut pieces.
#plantbased #smoothie #protein #organic #blueberries #spinach #almondmilk #chiaseeds #avocado #acai #health #wellbeing #glutenfree #nourish #nutrition #eatclean #energy #mindbodyspirit #fuel #activelifestyle #fitspo #fitfluential #fittips #smartchoices #blenderbabe #cleaneats #amsunshinefit #nutritionschool #healthcoach #wellnesswarrior #fuelyourselfhealthy

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Now is the perfect time to ramp up your fitness routine. It’s the time of year when many of us want to hibernate- the weather gets cooler, we begin to make excuses like not being able to exercise outdoors or it’s getting dark earlier, etc… but guess what… YOU can control all those excuses from knocking at your door aka your mind and get going!

Lucky for us, we are about to “fall back” with the time change that’s coming up bringing us an earlier sunrise! This allows for that extra motivation you might need to get up and get your heartrate going as you greet the sun and trust me, rising earlier definitely has its privileges and advantages for both your mind and your body!

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I have always been a morning workout person and encourage my clients, friends/loved ones to try and do it first thing in the morning as well so as to not have any excuses or obligations that come up in the evenings. You never know what meeting, event, practice for your kids or simply exhaustion from a long day, might prevent you from doing that evening workout. Before you know it, the misses keep adding up and you have gone days or weeks without moving your body and making your health a priority! Schedule this time for YOU and commit to it as you would a meeting, dinner date and/or doctor’s appointment.

Exercising first thing in the morning has many benefits- increased energy and production, improved mood and mental clarity to help tackle your day, a feeling of accomplishment because you already got in your miles and/or torched some serious calories all while sweating off any stress you may have been carrying, oh and did I mention you may just feel a tad more bada$$ as your strength and conditioning improves?!? Yes, yes and yes… I encourage you to take this time for YOU to Fall-IN to fitness and head into the holidays healthy, happy, confident and strong!

I would love to hear your progress or if I can support you in any way, please let me know-

e: amsunshinefit@gmail.com

Rise and shine and cheers to you healthier YOU! xx, a-m

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I’ve been hooked on coconut oil for quite some time, but I’m always finding new ways in which to use this amazing “superfood“.  I’ve written about the wonders of oil pulling with coconut oil (see this link- http://www.amfit.guru/oil-pulling-101/) and how easy it is to cook with…but most recently, including it in my morning coffee and in my dog Bella’s food, have brought on additional benefits.
My sweet dingo/lab rescue dog named Bella, (pictured here)bellaberteis a spry 11 1/2 years old. She has acquired some allergies on her paws. The vet recommended cortisone shots and benedryl which left her tired and with some loss of appetite. A friend mentioned adding coconut oil to her food to alleviate the constant licking of her paws and paw redness. After just a few weeks of adding a few tablespoons to her food (morning and evening) …vast improvements. She isn’t licking so much, enjoys the taste of the food and the inflammation/redness has gone down.

Most of you have heard of bulletproof coffee– well the version I’m hooked on is made with coconut oil.

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I mix my coffee with a tablespoon of coconut oil, almond milk, cinnamon, stevia (and sometimes turmeric) together and blend in my Nutribullet and the results…YUM…it tastes great and leaves me feeling fueled/energized for my morning workout session. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats. This energy expenditure leads to… you guessed it, a fat burner! Yes, you can eat healthy fats and lose fat. More on this topic in a blog follow up coming soon!

You can see why I’m coco for coconuts- my skin, hair, teeth, waistline and Bella, of course are all grateful for its benefits. As always, reach out to me with any questions or comments as I love hearing from you!!

e: amsunshinefit@gmail.com
Fuel Yourself Healthy xx, a-m

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Mental Toughness– something every one of us has battled with. The moment when your mind is working to pull you in a direction, hold you back from reaching, achieving, even believing you can do more, achieve more, be more. Every single athlete has faced this and like some of us, succumb to the pressure of the voice in the mind.

The mind is constantly sending signals to our bodies to quit or even worse, give up way before we are ready. It can also convince us of situations or scenarios that could potentially create obstacles, difficulties or with too much analysis…paralysis.

Working with so many professional athletes, this subject comes up almost daily in conversation. Every race, performance, game, is a competition that sometimes can be most prominent and lethal between your own two ears.

Elite Para-triathlete Mary Kate Callahan knows this all too well-

When competing at an elite level, sometimes your biggest competition is in your head. I’ve learned through training and racing that at some point we are going to have tough times but it’s our head that determines how we respond in those times. I try not to worry about the past and tell myself to learn from every mistake. I try to take at least one positive thing out of every situation. The pressure to perform at your best is expected not only of yourself but of everyone invested in you- your team, coach, owners, family.”

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Some key attributes of those who successfully control the mental game and exhibit mental toughness:

Attitude– a must to keep it positive, never give up and keep pushing forward. A can do, will do what it takes to get it done attitude. Learn from the mistakes, make the proper adjustments and move forward with confidence!

Visualization– believe that it will happen; visualize the win, manifest if you will…success, achieving/exceeding your goal and focusing the mind on that outcome.

Resilience– injury, loss, failure…things all of us have experienced. If you choose to give in and give up- you are losing the mental battle/allowing your mind to control you in a negative way. A setback can and will create a comeback by staying resilient and having a positive attitude.

2x United States Olympic Medalist and 2014 United States Olympic Team Captain, Women’s Ice Hockey / 5x time World Gold Champion Meghan Duggan has used mental toughness to overcome challenging situations in her sport: “I have used mental toughness to overcome lots of different situations, but one that sticks out in my mind is when I was trying to bounce back from a string of pretty severe head injuries. I was most certainly staring adversity in the face; I was staring a potential end of my career in the face. For months I had to dig deep mentally and figure out what I was made of and how I was going to get myself better. It was a mental challenge every day for over 14 months but I stayed resilient and was able to come out of it a better player, teammate, and leader. Mental toughness, to me, is what championship athletes are made of. It’s the ability to lead, perform, manage and master the task at hand, all while under pressure or in the face of adversity. Mental toughness is digging deep and figuring out how badly you want something and how you are going to get it accomplished!”

 

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As you can see, anything is possible when we can maintain a mentally strong attitude and belief. It takes practice and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable at times, but in the end… the outcome is amazing! As a mentor of mine, Fred DeVito always says… “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!”

Keep your inner circle filled with positive, supportive energy/people and remember you CAN do more, accomplish more and BE more… always! xx, a-m

 

For more inspiration from the #powerladies quoted in this article, check out Mary Kate @mkcallahan13 (Twitter and Instagram) and Meghan @mduggan10 (Twitter and Instagram) #strong #confident #healthy

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I find myself in daily conversations regarding nutrition/fuel.  It can be with an elite/professional athlete, mainstream athlete or weekend warrior.  The one thing I try and educate them on time and time again is that ALL of us are different/unique.  I don’t just mean our appearance, height, weight, intellect, etc… but rather, what works for us from a nutrition/fuel standpoint.  What works for me, could wreak havoc on your body.  That’s why it is so important to “trust your gut” literally and if you don’t feel good after consuming something- check in with that feeling and chances are, it isn’t good, nutritious fuel for YOU.

Food is prepared and unfortunately processed to the extreme nowadays, so more than ever, we all need to be educated consumers and our own wellness advocates for a healthy body inside>out!  Gluten, dairy, soy, sugar– some of the biggest culprits in the majority of my conversations.  Trying an elimination diet is one of the best ways to identify what you need to feel your best and perform at your best!

Confused about where to start or feel as though you are on the right path yet have some questions? Reach out to me (I am here to help) or seek out a certified health and nutrition coach in your area.  Knowledge is power and you deserve to fuel yourself healthy!!  xx, a-m

 

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