Friday Announcement: My OWN Black Friday Sale!

AmandaPlazek Black Friday Sale

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, it’s true! I’m having a Black Friday Sale unlike anything I’ve ever done. I can’t tell you what it is yet, but believe me, it’ll be great! If you’ve ever considered committing to a healthier lifestyle for yourself, this is the opportunity you don’t want to pass up!

 

Subscribe by typing in my bit.ly link (it’s case-sensitive, all lowercase) and you’ll be the first to know!

 

Quantities are limited, and once something’s gone, it’s gone for good!

 

I seriously can’t wait- see you there!

in peace and good health signature



Stitch Fix Plot Twist! (+ other Friday musings)

So this week has been an insane week (for life in general), but I’ve had some great highlights & plot twists that I wanted to share!

 

  • THANK YOU to all who read my Stitch Fix reviews! + news

My Stitch Fix reviews ( The first one is here and the second one is here) are some of the most popular blog entries of all-time! Thanks so much for reading them!

 

Something funny happened after I wrote the last one….I got an email from Stitch Fix offering to waive the $20 styling fee if I were to try one more box of clothes. I decided to go for it for two reasons: 1) I always appreciate excellent customer service, and 2) I wanted to blog about it and share it with my readers. 🙂

The box is set to arrive next week, so stay tuned!

 

  • My new workout program has me kicking and screaming. [well…maybe just kicking.]

I started a new workout program called Core de Force. So far, I describe the program as this: “you kick, you punch, you feel like a badass. Then you’re sore the day afterward.” It’s been awesome. It was quite easy to motivate myself to kick and punch as therapy this week, but for the sake of peace, I’ll leave it at that. 😉
Anyways, the workout is segmented into 3-minute rounds. You work as hard as you can until you hear the bell (similar to a 3-minute boxing round). I feel like a badass, but I look like a child. Eh, I’ll take what I can get. It’s just another reason why I love exercising at home!

 

 

  • Yelling “plot twist!” on my nutrition plan 

So my nutrition plan for this workout program is quite easy to follow. There are no unreasonable food restrictions, and plenty of really healthy food to eat. But I’ve had some low points this week…let’s call them “stress eating”. But I’ve learned that we don’t live in a vacuum. It’s ridiculous to think that we will all eat perfectly. Life happens, and I’m moving past it.

 

  • Skinny Pop is awesome!

So a few weeks back, I wrote a blog entry about healthy lunch food on-the-go. I included Skinny Pop as an example, and I received an email saying that they are sending me a gift as a “thank you!” Yay! 🙂

 

  • FINALLY putting away things in our house

My new project? Finally unpacking all of the things into our new house. I plan to do some major de-cluttering, and some home projects myself! Here’s hoping I don’t put a huge hole in a wall….

Ever want some little home tips for yourself? See what I’m up to on my Pinterest page!

Anyways, tgif. This week’s almost over, folks. Stay positive, be an example of peace and love for others, and let’s keep moving.

 

in peace and good health signature



What’s on my Plate: Week of Nov. 7

Today is a very exciting day! There are lots of new beginnings, so why wait? Here comes the breakdown:

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  1. I have a group of over 20 people who are counting down 21 days of gratitude with me! Gratitude is a hot button term that tends to pop up in November, but I wanted to take this one step further: Each week will focus on one overall theme, and each day is guided towards a certain topic/area.
  2.  I am officially starting a new workout program today! It’s called Core de Force and it’s a kickboxing, martial arts-style program. It’s not something that comes naturally to me, but then again, fitness didn’t come naturally to me about 4 years ago. I can’t stay in my comfort zone bubble forever!
    The workouts require no equipment, and are 30-47 minutes in length. I tried it over the weekend and I was ridiculously sore. I’m ready to feel that level of soreness all week! The soreness goes away, but the badassery doesn’t. 😉
  3. My meal prepping hasn’t been super on-point lately (read: not at all on-point). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been eating healthy overall! But I love prepping my meals the way that I like to prep my meals. I can’t do a spreadsheet that tells me what I’ll eat all week. We don’t have room in the fridge for that! But I plan on working out this morning, getting ready and then heading to the grocery store to make plenty of food for the week.
  4. My menu of food for the week:
    1. Turkey Chili
    2. Pumpkin Squash soup (this one is so cheap to make, it’s insane)
    3. Italian Turkey Meatballs
    4. Roasted Butternut Squash
    5. Roasted Parmesan Sweet Potatoes
    6. QuinoaOverall costs for food: 
      Butternut squash: .99 cents each
      Ground Turkey: 5 pounds for $13 at Sam’s club
      Beans (for chili): .69 cents per can
      Canned pumpkin: .69 cents per can
      Vegetable stock (for soup): $2.69
      Sweet potatoes: about $1.99 for a 3-lb bag
      Quinoa: $2.99 for a bag
      ALSO: we always, always buy organic spinach and put it in our Shakeology, so add about $4.99 for a 16-ounce container of spinach in there too.

I’m going to keep it simple, healthy, and affordable this week!
GIVEAWAY!: If you sign up for my mailing list, I’ll send you my personal recipes for the rest of the food above!

 

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I hope you have a healthy and happy week! Take care of yourself and your body, or no one else will!

in peace and good health signature



My Stitch Fix Box #2 Review

Amanda Plazek Stitch Fix Box

 

It’s here! It’s here! After getting my first Stitch Fix (you can find that review here) I decided to get a second Stitch Fix box, and as soon as possible. After finding two nice pieces in the last box, I was excited to see what else my stylist could come up with after I gave more information on my Pinterest board (which they recommend you doing, so they can get an even better idea of your style).

 

First impressions:

 

Amanda Plazek Stitch Fix Box Review 2

 

  • I love that they gave me more wear-to-work pieces, which I wanted. I also loved the color scheme! I’m really into burgundy (as the rest of the world is, I know…it’s fall) so I was thrilled to see that!
  • I LOVED the immediate look of the two burgundy tops! The sweater had cute, embroidered polka dots and the other wine-colored shirt was made of this swiss dot material. It was right up my alley!
  • I laughed out loud when I looked at the white shirt because my friend (a fellow Stitch Fix lover) was just wearing that shirt when I got home from work and saw it in my own box!

 

Let’s get down to business, shall we?

[disclaimer: It was dark outside when we took these photos, so forgive the spooky shadows that I cast throughout these photos]

 

  1. the 41Hawthorn Ribbed Pencil Skirt and 2. the Le Les Faux Wrap Skirt ($48 and $58, respectively)

 

Listen, I’m not even showing you photos of how these skirts fit because they were scandalously small on me. I would never wear them in public, so they aren’t going on the blog! 😉 Sorry, folks. Verdict: Returning both. 

 

 

2. the Daniel Rainn Yolimar Henley Swiss Dot Blouse ($68) 

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So this shirt strongly reminded me of the magenta shirt I got in the last Stitch Fix box! It had a very similar length, cut and style. I couldn’t bring myself to keep it, though, as it’s getting chillier where I live and I wouldn’t wear it as much as I would hope to.

It was also when I edited these photos for this blog entry that I realized…I didn’t like the way it fit me from the side.

Confession: I’m very sensitive about the fact that people have been asking me when if I’m pregnant/when I’m going to have a baby. When I have a headache, people ask me if I’m pregnant. When I say that I’m really tired, they ask me if I’ve considered if I’m pregnant. When I’m really hungry, they ask me if I’m eating for two. So if a shirt would potentially give people that impression, it’s not honoring me and how I choose to wear clothes.

"How far along are you?" "Far along enough that I'll tell you to get your own life!"
Verdict: It’s, sadly, going back.

 

 

3. 41Hawthorn Tameron Button Down Blouse ($58) 

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Okay, so this is the shirt that my friend already owns, so I had already seen it a few times in person. The biggest problem, for me, was how sheer it was! I’m also not a big fan of the double-pocket look on shirts.

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Verdict: my friend wears it better, and I’m sending it back! 

 

5. Renee C Jerri Polka Dot Pullover Sweater ($64) 

 

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Oh, how I wanted this sweater to work. It was so me, in a sweater! I could wear this with a pencil skirt, with dress pants, with my Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants jeans (again, check the previous Stitch Fix box review) . It was so sweet, and the length was great!

But when my [helpful] husband took this picture, I noticed that it was sheer around the top of the sweater. “Maybe it’s the fact that I left my camisole on from the white button-down shirt,” I said. So I changed and took the picture again.

After I changed, my husband said, “…I hate to tell you this, but it’s still sheer up top.”

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I actually left this picture as-is because you can see the disappointment on my face. It was adorable!

Verdict: I am, begrudgingly, returning it. 

 

Total purchases: none. 

 

 

Things I’ve learned from the Stitch Fix process so far:

  • There actually are things out there that are long enough for me and my long, Gumby torso and arms. I just have to find the store that suits my body type.
  • The Stitch Fix process really is fun. It’s like Christmas, coming home to a box of clothes that someone else picked out for you! It gave me something to look forward to for several days.
  • It made me re-evaluate my style, which was the biggest thing for me. I’ve been wearing the same outfits for about 5 years now, and it’s nice to freshen up your wardrobe with a few pieces. I re-evaluated my style, though, not from the Stitch Fix boxes themselves, but from surfing Pinterest and finding a few new fall outfits that made me say, “oh my gosh, that’s a great idea!” After seeing a photo like this….

vest-picture…it made me hunt for a look like that of my own! I found a gingham shirt on clearance (which I still think makes me look like a lumberjack). On top of that, I found a great sale & got myself my very own burgundy vest! Listen, I know it may not seem like a big deal, but those two items were enough to keep me looking for new ways to wear my old standard favorites. That alone made Stitch Fix a cool thing to try.

 

Will I try it again? Honestly, I’m not sure. I get the sense that my style isn’t understood by Stitch Fix and is a little more casual than I would usually wear on a daily basis. Remember: I play for 80+ weddings/year, and all I wear are church-appropriate work clothes! (Or yoga pants, there seems to be no in-between.)

 

On top of that, the clothes were a little pricey. While 90% of my clothes come from J.Crew (because of the length), I always, always find ways to pay less for my clothes. The price tag on these items just didn’t seem worth it.

So the long and the short of it is….I liked the inspiration and the process, but I’m not sure it’s worth another go.

 

Have you tried Stitch Fix? Would you give it a try?

in peace and good health signature

 

 



What’s On My Plate? [week of Nov. 1]

It’s been an exciting fall for my household: we bought a house, we moved, and now we are amping up for Christmas (i.e. my most stressful time of the year in my job)! I don’t know if it’s the residual stress from the insane past few months, but my body has been feeling like it’s coming off of the rails.

 

    • I’m having headache/shoulder problems off and on, and it has me scared to exercise too rigorously. So I’m either doing yoga or nothing at all, until my new kickboxing program arrives in the mail next week.
    • I woke up in the middle of the night with some freaky digestive issues, which never happens to me. (Over the past few years, I don’t have trouble sleeping.) It inspired me to go very back to basics with my nutrition: plenty of probiotics; no unnatural sugar (sorry, Halloween candy); lots and lots of vegetables; and “light” protein (i.e. lean protein, eggs, and/or plant-based protein). Add a lot of water to that equation, and I’m feeling better already! (side note: I’m also seeing my stomach flatten out again after a few weeks of junkier eating!)
      Here’s my video sharing my “healing from the inside out”:

  • I’ve been reflecting on the fact that it’s November, and we struggle, as a society, to express gratitude on a regular basis. We tend to focus on the negative, not the positive. And so I’ve decided to create a 3-week gratitude challenge throughout the month of November!
    Here’s my live video from last night sharing my plan (and why I am choosing to do it now):

  • My next Stitch Fix box is coming today and I can barely contain my excitement! I almost cancelled after box #1 (which you can find by clicking here) but I decided to give it another go. Can’t wait to make my next unboxing and share what’s inside!

And now, I’m off to tackle the day ahead. Water, coffee, and probiotics in hand. 😉 Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!

 

in peace and good health signature



Slow Cooker Apple Crisp Recipe

Ah, fall. While I am still a summer girl at heart, there’s something pretty nice about the warm smells of fall. I’m a sucker for anything with apple and cinnamon, so I love to toss around ideas for apple crisp that’s easy, pretty healthy and delicious. (and by “pretty healthy”, I mean “very little sugar added”!)

 

Follow the directions below, put it in your Crock Pot/slow cooker for 4 hours and enjoy! (note: I use 2 tsp of melted coconut oil in Step 2- forgot to mention that!)

 

Tip: This goes well with oatmeal, roasted oats or some ice cream. 🙂

Amanda Plazek Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

 

 

 

 

 

Did you make this slow cooker apple crisp recipe? If so, what did you think? Share this blog post with anyone that you think would like to make it too!

 

in peace and good health signature



What’s for Lunch? Creative (and Healthy) Lunch Ideas for the Busiest of People

Amanda Plazek Creative and Healthy Lunch Ideas

 

I’m a busy person.

 

I know, I know, everyone is busy, but there are essentially zero days when I sit down for lunch. When I do, I’m eating as I work.

 

I teach fitness classes during my lunch breaks, and eat while answering phone calls and emails as I’m back at my desk.

 

If I’m not at work, I’m driving over an hour, out of state, to go to graduate school. As a result, I must eat in my car. It’s non-negotiable.

 

So when people say that they are too busy to make a healthy lunch, I say, “nope! You can do it. Believe me.

 

So today’s blog talks about the bare-bones, simplest ways to eat “fast food” for lunch. And it’s not what you think. 😉

 

My “fast food” are the things that are healthy, cost-effective, and easily stored in a mini-fridge (if at all). These are the things I eat, week after week, that keep me from going through that tantalizing Chik-fil-A drive-through on the interstate. Damn that thing.

 

 

Amanda Plazek.com My Fast Food

 

 

 

From the top, clockwise:

1. Mini cheeses. I like Babybel cheese, but whatever floats your boat. These things come in their own wax encasement, making them perfect for eating on-the-go. I grab two and keep them in my fridge.

 

2. Individual packets of peanut butter. These are gold when it comes to traveling. I actually brought a pack of 6 with me to Europe this summer! It gives you healthy fats and can easily be dipped with…….

 

3. An apple. Ah, my favorite “fast food” fruit. I don’t typically cut it up, but when I do, it’s to dip in those little peanut butter packs. as I mention in my video about healthy grocery shopping,  I mentioned that apples are one of the only things I really do stick to buying Organic (because of the amount of pesticides that stick to an apple’s skin). Apples are so easy to grab and go!

 

4. Nuts. Easy as that. Peanuts, almonds, and pecans are the nuts I have on hand at all times. I put a handful of these in a Ziploc bag and I’m good to go. Believe it or not, your brain needs healthy fat to function. Not to mention that you will stay fuller, longer with healthy fats included in a meal. (True story! Not all “fat” is bad!)

 

5. SkinnyPop Popcorn bagsWhile it’s cheaper to buy a big bag of this non-GMO, gluten-free popcorn, I love to go to my wholesale retailer and get a box of individual bags. They are the appropriate serving size (although I’d like to eat 6 at a time) and are very easy to keep in my car for those hangry moments. I know we all don’t get hangry…right? 😉 These SkinnyPop individual bags are some of my easiest go-to snacks.

 

6. Shakeology. This is my superfood, whole-foods drink that has never left my side for 4 years. I can say, with full confidence, that it’s helped me get to where I am today on my fitness/wellness journey. At $3/serving, it’s cheaper than any healthy, full meal I could get on the road. (Believe me, I’ve tried. I got a salad at Panera and it was $9! Triple the cost of my Shakeology. Sheesh.) Shakeology is best when blended, but I shake it with water or almond milk if I’m on-the-go.

 

7. Greek Yogurt. I was so anti-Greek yogurt when I started this journey! Ha! But the protein in Greek yogurt has kept me on the healthy train when I forgot my lunch at home…which happens more than I’d care to admit. (What can I say? My mind is always in seven different directions!)

 

 

NOTE: most of these options are “snackable”! Snacks are not taboo in my book, especially if you’re too busy to sit down for a formal lunch. I personally believe that snacking on healthy options throughout the day will prevent you from grabbing that last chunk of cake in the staff break room.

 

Anyways, these are my best suggestions for healthy lunches on-the-go. All of these options keep me on the healthy track. They are cost-effective, and are tried, tested and true.

 

What are some of your best suggestions for healthy lunches? Share them below!

Know someone who would like these healthy lunch suggestions? Feel free to share this blog post. Pay it forward!

 

in peace and good health signature

 

 



3 Things to Consider Before Getting Adult Braces or Jaw Surgery

Hi there! If you came across my blog because you’re considering getting adult braces or jaw surgery, then congratulations! I hope this information helps you!

 

When I considered starting my jaw surgery journey a few years back, I didn’t know where to start. I only found graphic, disturbing videos on YouTube, and it almost talked me out of getting the surgery. It’s been my mission ever since to help other people find honest, clear-cut (non-graphic) support when it comes to deciding if adult braces and/or jaw surgery is right for them.

 

Here is a video I recently made about the 3 things you should consider before getting adult braces or jaw surgery. Check it out below:

 

 

What are some of the questions you have about adult braces or your jaw surgery journey? For more medical questions, contact your orthodontist or oral surgeon. If you want help/advice on what to eat pre- and post-op, or why I chose to get my jaw surgery done, contact me and we’ll talk!

 

in peace and good health signature

 



Healthy, Easy Grocery Shopping Tips (while saving money)!

I talk to so many people who say that they hate grocery shopping. One of the main complaints is that they don’t know how to eat healthy and not break the bank.

 

I, however, see this as one of my strengths! On this video, I am going to:

  • Share my most recent grocery haul
  • Share some of my tips for saving money on veggies & produce
  • Share a sneak-peek of my new kitchen in my house

 

Watch below, and share your takeaways with me!

 

 

 

Do you struggle with grocery shopping and eating healthy? Contact me and we can create a personalized shopping list for you! It’s easier than you think! 🙂

 

in peace and good health signature