Archive for the ‘Nutrition Guidelines’ Category

NO Halloween Candy Challenge!!

I invite you to take on my NO Halloween candy challenge!!! Leading up to Halloween there is candy everywhere you turn. When you have a mindset of “ZERO” it makes it super simple to pass by the candy dish because typically when you indulge in one you end up eating 3! My challenge is THROUGH Halloween which means the candy that may show up in your house on Halloween is off limits into November as well. This challenge does not include organic dark chocolate or sweet foods like dates. It includes candy that you open in a wrapper that is filled with sugar, food dye, preservatives and words you cannot pronounce! It also includes baked goods that contain food dye.

Please double check your dark chocolate (Theo is my favorite brand & you can find it on Amazon, Cali Fresh, Whole Foods or Sprouts) to make sure it contains whole food ingredients. Here is an example of an Amy Approved ingredient list:

Cocoa Beans*+, Cane Sugar*+, Almonds*, Cocoa Butter*+, Pink Himalayan Salt

To get the candy OUT of your house after Halloween I recommend using the “switch witch”! Last year I let Charly pick 10 of her favorites and then she left the rest outside for the switch witch. That night the witch came, took her candy and left her a train ticket to Santa Barbara and a day pass to the zoo! I know some of you take it to work or simply throw it away but I’d recommend getting it out of your eye sight!

For those of you who opt out of my challenge that is OK. My compromise is to give yourself parameters, for example, eat ZERO up until Halloween, enjoy the holiday but after Halloween go back to ZERO. For those of you who have better self control allow yourself a piece a few times a week guilt free but don’t over-indulge. Find your balance!!!

Who is “IN” for my NO Halloween candy challenge???!!!

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It’s the little things…

As we enter 2022 I wanted to take a moment to remind you of the “little daily habits” that make health and fitness a lifestyle, a smooth ride instead of a roller coaster. These are practices that I live by and wanted to share with you:

1. Start every day with 10oz filtered water & 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon / lime.
2. Snooze button doesn’t exist – if you set an intention to wake early to workout, journal, meditate, organize your day etc follow through when the alarm goes off. In my mind the snooze button does not exist.
3. Go to bed around the same time each night (preferably early enough to aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep) – this helps your morning ritual!
4. Close the kitchen after dinner.
5. Keep nutrition simple. Stick to whole foods – if you don’t know what an ingredient is on a label skip it. Eat 3 meals of whole unprocessed foods, only snack if necessary & STOP buying processed junk food you cannot say “no” to!
6. Skip the carbs at dinner MOST of the time. At your evening meal aim for a fistful of protein, 2-3 veggie options and a whole food fat like olive oil or avocado.
7. Give your gut a minimum of a 12 hour “rest”. Lemon water and black coffee are OK.
8. Move daily – sweat most of the time. Some days this is yard work and other’s its a trail run, strength workout or circuit.
9. Intensity is key – on the days you set aside time to sweat be intense. Get your HR to 80-90% of your max for short intervals (30-45 seconds).
10. Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. If you sweat add 10-20 additional ounces.

I read this early this morning and wanted to share:
“This is so contrary to what we learn on the internet about good health. Good health does not come from supplements, a long list of elaborate recipes, chlorophyll shots or the newest gadget, it comes from quality food, sleep, movement and connection”

Instead of making a HUGE change in 2022 I encourage you to set weekly intentions to incorporate little daily habits that encourage a calm, smooth and consistent ride when it comes to your health and fitness.

Happy New Year!!! I am so excited to continue coaching you to help you be the best version of YOURSELF!!! Cheers to a year of adventure and a lifestyle of good health and fitness!

Amy Approved Fitness
Lean, Fit, Confident, Strong

Sunrise, Sweat, Sunshine, SunsetAMY APPROVED!!!  

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Are you struggling with seasonal allergies?? Try this!!!


Local bee pollen will help ease your pain within 1-2 days.  I found this gem for $35 at Rutiz Farm on Pike St in Arroyo Grande.  They are open Tuesdays, Fridays (12-6) & Saturdays (10-4).  Use the instructions above and remember that more is not better.  It will help with allergies in the 5 cities area but not too far outside.

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…

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Your Perfect Day – A Challenge!!


Who has ever had a weekend or a few days in a row where they over indulged, drank an extra glass of wine, ate more sugar than normal and woke feeling that food hangover??!!  The solution to a LIFESTYLE of maintaining a healthy weight is CONSISTANCY.  One tool I often use is I have a “perfect” nutrition day that is a staple in my life.  It’s not something I use everyday but it’s a platform to get me back on track.

Today’s challenge is to email ( or text me your “perfect nutrition day”.  I am not writing mine out because I want it to be “yours”.  A day that is realistic in your world and foods that you enjoy.  I challenge you to use all whole foods and keep it gluten, dairy & soy free.  So by the end of the day I expect a lot of texts & emails!

Ready, Set, GO!!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…

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I CHALLENGE you to pack your lunch for 1 full week…

I CHALLENGE you to pack your lunch for 1 full week (5 business days).  If you go to lunch with a client I understand that you will eat the restaurants food (CLEAN GF choices) but if you go with an employee etc you CAN bring your food into a restaurant or choose to eat at home or office.

Please purchase this today (If you chose not to buy the dressing holder you can use a small glass container with a lid).

The night before please prep:
*1 big green salad (make it FUN like my salad in this link)

*Whip up the dressing in above link (It lasts in fridge for DAYS)

*Make one of the folllowing:
^Bake 2 sweet potatoes & store in glass container in fridge
^Make a batch of organic white or brown rice
^Bake 1 butternut squash

*Make up a mix of canned wild Salmon (I buy mine at Costco)
Here is what I love:
1 can wild salmon, Bubbies dill pickles, organic mustard, 1/2 avocado, celery & salt/pepper
Store the salmon in a glass container.  This will be enough for 2 lunches.

*Apples – have 5 in fridge ready to go

Workday morning:
Take your LARGE mason jar & put the sweet potato (rice or butternut squash) on the bottom (about 1/2 cup), shove the rest of the jar full of salad and 1/2 of the salmon mix you pre-made the night before on top.  Put the dressing into the holder and screw the lid on.  Grab an apple and you are on your way.  At lunch time pour in your dressing, shake & ENJOY!!!!  Eat the apple with your lunch.

It basically looks like THIS, but your starch will be at the bottom.

Are you up for this challenge??  Any questions??

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…

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Enough Water? 💦💦💦

This week lets focus on the simple task of drinking enough WATER. You should consume half of your weight in ounces. So at 120lbs I need to drink 60 ounces per day. How many ounces does your body need? Get out your BPA FREE bottles (because they have a measurement on them) and achieve this today! 💦💦💦
Happy HEALTHY Monday! 💪🏽💪🏽

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Grow Your Own!!!

We are a bit late planting this year but in Cali it will still grow & thrive.  For Mother’s Day I wanted to get things planted so today we took action!!!

garden4Strawberries in pots and in green house is tomatoes & 2 types of cucumbers
garden5Edible patio is our goal!  So in boxes is lettuce & squash
garden6In these boxes there are 2 kinds of squash & pumpkins!!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…
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The Hottest New Diet of 2015 That You Haven’t Heard Of


Allow us to introduce you to… the Pegan diet! This plan combines the healthiest qualities of two popular eating plans to help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and improve heart health.

When it comes to nutrition, the mind-boggling mix of advice can make anyone’s head spin. Should you eat whole grains, or avoid gluten? Consume lean protein, or be a vegetarian? Go low-fat, or eat plenty of fat with every meal? It’s no wonder we’re all confused about what we should—or shouldn’t—eat.

The perpetual debate can be divided into two main (and seemingly opposing) camps: Paleo and vegan. Devotees of the Paleo (or “caveman”) diet, consume foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, and fruit. Grains, legumes, sugars, processed foods, and most dairy products are forbidden. A vegan diet, on the other hand, consists of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds—and prohibits anything that comes from an animal.

Followers of each are staunch in defending the benefits of their diet, and science isn’t much help when it comes to differentiating between the two. Studies show both Paleo and vegan diets can help with weight loss, reverse diabetes, and lower cholesterol. How can you tell which is best for you?

“Although they may sound completely at odds, the truth is Paleo and vegan diets have more in common with each other than either have with the standard American diet,” says Mark Hyman, M.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and author of the forth coming book, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Cookbook (March 2015).

“The foundational principles of both diets—real whole, fresh food in its natural state free of processed ingredients, refined carbohydrates, and additives—are the same,” Hyman explains. “Designed correctly, both a Paleo and vegan diet can provide health benefits like weight loss, lowered cholesterol, and reverse diabetes.”

Hyman decided to seek some middle ground and combined the two opposing diets together. “Taking the best, most healthful qualities of both diets, I wanted to create an eating style that combines the best of two worlds,” Hyman says. The result: Paleo-Vegan, or “Pegan” diet.

To really boil it down for you, it’s made up of eating fresh food in its unadulterated state. “When people get back to these foods, they lose weight, regardless of whether they are Paleo or vegan,” Hyman says.

If Peganism sounds like it’s up your ally, simply follow these 10 principles to reap the best parts of both diets.

1. Focus on foods with a low glycemic load. “They key to weight loss, diabetes, and cardiovascular health is eating a low-glycemic, high-phytonutrient diet,” explains Hyman. In other words, choose foods that are low in sugar, avoid refined carbs of all kinds, and stick to organic options like fruits, nuts, legumes, and even teas.

2. Fill your plate with veggies. 50 to 75 percent of your diet—and your plate—should be vegetables, Hyman says. And the deeper the color, the better—this signifies a high phytonutrient (aka organic) content that can protect against disease.

3. Eat the right fats. Stay away from most vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, corn, and especially soybean oil—it’s highly processed and high in inflammatory omega 6 fats. Focus instead on omega 3 fats, found in olive oil, nuts, coconut, avocados, and in small amounts, even saturated fat from grass fed or sustainably raised animals, Hyman suggests.

4. Treat meat as a side dish. Paleo diets give meat the starring role, while vegans avoid it entirely. So what’s a Pegan to do? “A good rule of thumb is to fill about 25 percent of your plate with a protein-rich food—about the size of your palm,” says Hyman. Veggies should still be the majority, and any remaining plate-space should be given to healthy starches such as winter squash, sweet potato, or black rice.

5. Choose sustainably raised or grass-fed sources. Grass-fed beef has more cholesterol-neutral stearic acid and contains protective omega-3 fats and vitamins A and D that raises glutathione and other antioxidants, Hyman explains. And if you’re going for fish, choose omega-3-fat rich fish such as sardines or wild salmon, which have lower mercury levels.

6. Avoid dairy. Here’s where both diets have it right. “While some people can tolerate it, recent research has shown that it can contribute to ailments such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and may increase (not decrease) the risk of osteoporosis,” Hyman says. Try organic goat or sheep products, and only as a treat.

7. Say no to gluten, and cut down on other whole grains. The debate over gluten rages on, but Hyman recommends that other than an occasional treat, it should be avoided. As for other whole grains? “Eat them sparingly. They still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.”

8. Limit legumes. Although beans are a good source of fiber, protein and minerals, Hyman suggests capping consumption to less than 1 cup per day. They can cause digestive problems, and increase blood sugar in diabetics or pre-diabetics—especially big starchy beans.

9. Have sugar only on (very) special occasions. Consider sugar—in all its various forms—an occasional treat. Maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar are okay in small amounts, Hyman says, but skip artificial sweeteners and any added sugars.

10. Banish Franken-foods. Choose foods that are low in pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and GMOs, Hyman says. Translation: No chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, MSG, or artificial sweeteners.

 So what does a typical day in the Pegan diet look like? Pretty delicious! “Breakfast is usually a protein smoothie with nuts, seeds, berries, coconut butter, almond butter, and unsweetened almond milk.” Hyman says. “Lunch might be a big salad with avocado, pumpkin seeds, canned wild salmon, or sardines. Then dinner is usually something like wild-caught fish or pasture raised lamb or organic chicken, two or three sides of vegetables including dark green leafy greens, winter squash, and roasted mushrooms.”

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Eating Clean While Dining Out – EVEN during the holidays!!!

So many people make excuses such as “oh well it’s the holidays” or “I’ll start January 1st” when it comes to food choices over the holiday season.  This is a HUGE recipe for disaster.  Do NOT wait until January to clean it up!!!  I am not saying eat 100% perfectly clean.  If you get your workouts in it’s OK to have a sweet treat a few times per week without seeing your weight soar.

Last night we went to Jaffa Café in the village of Arroyo Grande.  If you ASK for a gluten dairy free meal they accommodate you!!!  DO NOT be afraid to ask!!!  I had a chicken salad, cucumber salad & grape leaves.  It was AMAZING, satisfying & CLEAN!!!!jaffacafeMy January circuit sign-up is HERE!!!  I have openings in both my Thursday 6am and 7:05am classes.  Want to lean down, increase your CORE & overall body strength, workout with a FUN  group & shock your body each and every week???  Click HERE for details on my next round that begins January 8th!!!

Happy Holidays!!!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods… – YOUR Fitness Superstore

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Attitude of Gratitude – BE THANKFUL!!!

The holiday season is HERE!  Let the craziness begin.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year.  It’s crazy, fun, festive, busy, full of love & family time.  It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of it all so remember to SLOW DOWN and be GRATEFUL for everything that surrounds you TODAY.  It’s easy to always want “more”, to be 5lbs thinner, to want those expensive jeans etc…  Sit down and be THANKFUL for everything that surrounds you TODAY.  I believe that the universe is a powerful tool so it’s important to tell the universe what it is you want but also to thank the universe for your blessings.

Thanksgiving2What are you eating at your Thanksgiving table???  We are making a Paleo Thanksgiving dinner that will include a smoked turkey, homemade cranberry sauce (thank you John Hall for the recipe!), mashed sweet potatoes, something green – possibly asparagus, a pumpkin dessert & of course champagne!

Tips for holiday eating:
*Have one plate of food (YES anything you want) but don’t go back for seconds
*Only have a few bites of dessert
*MOVE – get up before the craziness begins and MOVE
*Don’t overindulge in the appetizers.  Save your appetite for the meal
thin-thanksgivingWe are starting our day with the Pismo Turkey Trot.  See you there???

ThanksgivingBe grateful for everything that surrounds you TODAY!!!!  Happy Thanksgiving & CHEERS to a wonderful holiday season.  LIFE IS GOOOOOOOOD!!!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods = Your Fitness Superstore

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