Let’s Bring Back Victory Gardens!

Today I’m going to be bringing you a lifestyle blog post!

Gardening happens to be one of my favorite pastimes!

In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, I think many families are starting to consider just how they can be more self-reliant. This could be growing a garden, trying their hand at making bread and even raising a few chickens!

Today I’m going to focus on growing a garden!

Our family has gardened for years and many times it helped us financially by supplying produce for the year!  I often can,freeze and dry whatever produce I grow!

I learned all that I know from my mother and she learned from her mother and father! My grandparents raised a Victory Garden during the years of World War II. 

Many families during that time raised enough vegetables and fruit to feed their families and help their neighbors out as well!

People canned and preserved much of their produce to save for the coming year!

Just like our currant situation, where we are seeing our local grocery stores running short on fruit and veggies, many families during WWII had shortages. So what did they do?

They got busy, dug up a spot in their back yard, saved or bought some seeds, planted them and worked the land!

How to Get Started-

1. Decide what your exact needs are. Pick only veggies that your family will eat.

2. Take a look in your yard. Do you have a small bit of space that gets good sun most of the day?

3. How much time do you have? If you work a lot of hours or are super busy with your family you may either want a smaller garden or a raised bed.

4. Make a plan. Sketch out your area. Allot for plant size. Also, figure out how much you need of your favorite vegetables to eat now and can for later.

5. Gather up the items you need-potting soil, seeds, plants, tools, wood if you are making raised beds, ask around to borrow a tiller if you’re putting your garden in the ground!

6. Get busy!!

Check back in Tomorrow!!

I will delve deeper into exact steps you can take to plan a Victory Garden for your family this spring!!

Gardening is one of the most rewarding projects you can start!! It’s also a great form of exercise!!

Until later-



Let’s Stay Fit While Stuck at Home!

While this corona 19 virus craziness is going on many of you are going to be or are stuck at home!

As long as you are not running a fever or infected with the virus this is a great time to stay fit!

It is especially a great time to get outside in your own backyard and enjoy some fresh air!

The next couple of days I will upload some videos and posts with some workouts!

I plan to include some yoga and circuit type workouts that you can do with everyday items in your home as well as light weights if you have them!

What You Will Need…….

Stay tuned and be gathering your thick beach towels or yoga mats as well as some water/milk(empty and clean) jugs, water bottles, pool noodles or jump ropes and be looking for a great step to use!

Keep your eyes open for a new post!!



Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable is OK!

If you are like me, you can often dislike being uncomfortable!!

Now, You may be asking, “What do you mean by uncomfortable?”

It could simply be you are trying something new. ~A new situation, a new class(fitness, bible study) ~A new job! ~A new workout routine. ~A new eating plan. ~A new chapter in your life.

Then there are times-its just life!

Life is hard and often uncomfortable!

People are hard to love, work doesn’t always go the way we want, times are just testing your patience and we have struggles.

The Definition of Uncomfortable-

The definition of uncomfortable: causing or feeling slight pain or physical discomfort; causing unease or awkwardness; irritating:uneasy: bad, tough

Ok, so none of that is an awesome experience! But it is something that you can make it through!

I am convinced that being uncomfortable can be a GOOD thing!

Of course I am a little weird and that’s ok!

Positive Changes Can Come from Being Uncomfortable-

Positive changes can come from being uncomfortable!

Often when you are uncomfortable, it will spur you to make a positive change!

A great example is your pants are too tight, so you are uncomfortable, right? You then realize you need to cut back and start exercising!

Another good example is you know you need to grow closer to God and you buckle down and start a bible study every day!

Perhaps you are uncomfortable in your job, you decide that you need to find another one, that may cause you to need to take a class or get a certification, which can also be a little uncomfortable! But a new job could cause you less stress, pay you more money and be better for your mental health.

Most of us really hate to step out of our comfort zones. That can then cause us to get stuck on this hamster wheel! We are unhappy but not fed up enough to push us to do something different.

When you are stuck on that wheel, it may take being very uncomfortable to get you to move! It can take a worse situation to push us to go a different direction.

Often, the thing that is causing us to be uncomfortable is the opposite of what is good for us!

Did You Know that Being Uncomfortable is Biblical?

Yep! It sure is!

Any of you ever hear of Jonah and the Whale???

Let me paraphrase the story….

God told Jonah to go to the land of Nineveh.Now they were really mean and bad people. God told him to tell them that He was going to rain down fire from Heaven because of their wickedness. Jonah didn’t like them and didn’t really care whether God wiped them off the face of the earth.

Jonah decided that well, he’d just go the opposite direction and hop on a boat! And go as far away as possible! While he was on the boat there was a huge storm that blew in from guess who? Yep!! God!

Now everyone was getting sea sick and the sailors started crying out for God to help them. They drew lots(essentially different sized straws) and guess who got the short one? Guess from who? Again, God!!!

Jonah tells them to toss him overboard and the storm will cease, they argue but in the end they threw him over! Guess what? The storm stopped immediately!

So, there is Jonah, flailing around in the sea and along comes a whale!

The whale sees a free meal and swallows Jonah up!

But God keeps Jonah safe in the whales belly for 3 days and 3 nights! Suddenly the whale gets a sour tummy and basically throws Jonah up on the shore.

Guess where???

Yep, you guessed it!


See, Jonahs situation could be like ours at times. There are times God could be leading you to something that you don’t want to or something that will make you uncomfortable.

But He always uses that situation for good!

I believe that every facet of our life is of great importance to God. Whether its we need to lose weight and need to eat better and exercise. A super stressful job could be causing health problems, family problems and keep you from your full potential.

So, see!!!

Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable can be a Great Thing!

When a situation arises in your life that is uncomfortable, ask God what you need to do different!

Pay close attention to any leadings you feel. Pray over them. God doesn’t mind us asking for more guidance!

Then make a plan to work towards the change He is leading you to!

Where in your life are you uncomfortable?

Do you feel you are being led to make a change in your life-big or small?

Is your uncomfortableness physical, mental, family or even a job?

Are you avoiding making a change because you’re stuck on the hamster wheel?

I would love to hear what’s going on in your life and what amazing changes that you are making!!

Feel free to comment!



Set Up a Fun Cardio Circuit Workout at Home!

There are some days you just don’t feel like going to the gym! As well as there are days you just don’t feel like running or walking on a treadmill!

As the weather turns nice, I start to look outside to get some of my cardio in!

I get bored easy so I’m changing up my cardio workouts all the time!

Today we’re going to discuss how to set up a Cardio Circuit Workout at home just using things that you have around the house!

Gather Some Things…

Take a look around your house.

Look for the following items:

-a ball(could be a medicine ball, child’s bouncy ball or even a basketball)

-jump rope(even a piece of heavier rope at least as tall as you!).

– 2 full water jugs

– steps

-2 Pop bottles

– any weights you may have


-mat, blanket, thick towel

Gather all these things into one general area! The area should be big enough for you to move around in and not bump into walls or furniture! If it’s a nice day, head outside!!

Cardio Circuit One:

Make sure that you take some time to warm up so you might go walk around the block, walk up and down your steps, jog in place, step touch and maybe some wall push-ups! Do you this for at least five minutes!

Now you can set a timer on your phone or you can download a free Interval Timer!

We’re going to do each exercise for 30 seconds at your high speed and then recover(walk, step touch) for a minute!

This is a great beginner interval!

1. Step(or run)up and down on your step for 30 seconds–walk around 1 min recover

2. Take your two pop bottles and put them about 30 feet apart. Run/ speed walk back-and-forth in between these two bottles for 30 seconds. Then recover for one minute.

3.Take your full water jugs and squat up and down for 30 seconds. Recover.

4. Get your jump rope, and jump rope for 30 seconds. Recover

5. Take your two pop bottles and put them about 3 feet apart. Lateral jump or step touch using the bottles as a guide for 30 seconds. Recover

4.  Grab your ball, that you gathered and take a wide stance with your feet, bend your knees and bounce the ball up and down, up and down- almost crunching your abs at the same time. Do this for 30 seconds and then recover

5. Take your mat, blanket or towel fold it up and place it on the floor and do a plank for 30 seconds.

Repeat this circuit as many times as possible for 20 minutes – not including the warm-up! 

Cardio Circuit Two-

Again warm up for five minutes. And make sure you have all of your items that you need. This cardio circuit is better done outside!

1. Take your chalk and draw a hopscotch pattern. Perform hopscotch up and back for at least 30 seconds. Recover

2. Play the jump rope in a straight line. Now pogo stick jump from side to side over the jump rope! Do this for 30 seconds and then recover.

3. Mark off about a 30 foot section, grab your water jugs and then proceed to carry them over her head back-and-forth between the 30 feet marks for 30 seconds go as fast as you can. Recover

4. Grab your mat, blanket or towel and perform push-ups for 30 seconds. Recover

5. Take your 2 Pop Bottles place them about 3 to 4 feet apart and run a figure 8 pattern around them. Do this for 30 seconds as fast as you can. Recover

6. Use your step and jump up-and-down on the step for 30 seconds. You can also step up step down if jumping is too hard. Recover

Again do this circuit one through six for 20 minutes not counting the warm up!

Cool It Down-

After you’ve done your circuits, take the time to walk around and get your heart rate down.

Then perform some easy stretches.

My favorites are:

-Seated Figure 4 stretch

-Forward folds

-Down dog

-Stationary Lunges for the hip flexors

How about You?

I hope you will take the time to try these circuits! Cardio exercise does not have to be boring and the same thing day in and day out!

All of these circuits are ones that you could easily include your children or your spouse in! I used to love to do these type of workouts with my kids! Of course with the boys it was always a competition!

Let me know if you try any of these workouts!

I would love to hear your results!

Until next time!



One Extremely Fun and Great Workout Way to Get Healthy!!

OK,OK, OK, so maybe not everybody would find this extremely fun!

But it is a great way to stay in shape and to get healthy!


The great thing is is that gardening doesn’t have to be an extremely hard thing to set up!

It doesn’t take a lot of tools and doesn’t take a lot of talent! You don’t really even need to have a green thumb!

Now you can put lot of time and effort and use a lot of tools and even use machines in the garden but I’ll be really honest with you – I am sort of a lazy gardener!!

You will get exercise though! Bending over,working in the garden, raking, watering and even harvesting the garden can be a workout!

A huge plus to gardening is there have also been studies done how the microbes in the dirt contain anti-depressant qualities! So it’s also healthy for your mind and emotions!!

I am going to show you what I’ve done the past couple of years that has simplified my gardening routine!

Raised Beds-

Around two years ago my husband built me a raised bed that is 8 feet long, 3 feet tall and a little over 3 feet wide! We totally swiped the idea from my husband’s brother and sister-in-law!! Sean is going to build me 3 more in addition to my existing one. This is going to be a welcome change!! I am so excited!

Here is a picture of my current raised bed!! We just relocated it!

It really has made gardening super easy! You don’t have to bend down super far,you don’t have to use a tiller or get somebody with a tractor to turn over your dirt.

It’s simply just build the frame, fill it-we used some mulch that we got from our local public works and then topped it with potting soil! 

Now over the past couple years I have used fertilizer and added some new potting soil from time to time just to help make the soil little bit better place for the plants to grow!

One of the best things about a raised bed is that you don’t have to do a ton of weeding! If you just go out every couple of days and just simply pick out any weeds that you find and maybe rake through the dirt with a little hand rake-it’s really is that easy!

Then all that you have to do is just simply pick out what kind of plants you want to put in there! I have had really good luck with tomatoes kale, carrots especially and potatoes! Which this year I am going to ask the hubby to build me a potato box!! Which is very similar to a raised bed except much smaller typically 3 x 3 feet in width and then 4 feet tall. It allows you to plant the potatoes in the bottom and then you just continue to add either potting soil and straw or both on top of the plants and then you just simply pull out the side and get your potatoes when they’re done growing.

Here is a picture of what I want to build!! 

Seed Starting-

This is possibly one of the most fun parts of gardening!

Getting to pick what plants you want to grow!

I always do tomatoes, green beans, carrots,onions and typically kale in the early spring and fall! I do love to experiment with unique plants and new herbs!

I will buy planters from either Walmart or Lowe’s, get a bag of potting soil and then I just plant my seeds!

Now I will pass along one helpful piece of information! Always mark what plants or seeds you just put in! I have made the mistake too many times of planting the seeds and then forgetting what I put in there!!

So today I just planted tomatoes – several different kinds, beets, peppers and some micro greens just to try something new!

Several years ago I purchased a mini greenhouse. It’s one that I can put in the house or out on the porch when it starts to get a little bit warmer. It’s really good for seed starting. I think I paid less than $50 for it at Lowe’s!

I placed all of my planters in the mini greenhouse today!! Now comes the count down to getting them into the raised bed!!

When I finally get my seeds planted in the planter I feel like it’s Christmas Eve and I’m just so excited to see when they start to pop out of the soil! I often wonder does anyone else feel this way?? Perhaps I am a gardening nerd!

What about You?

Do you garden?

What are some of your favorite seeds to plant?

Have you ever tried raised bed gardening?

Do you do a traditional garden?

Feel free to comment below!

I’d love to hear your gardening experiences!!




My Favorite Things for February!!

This month I am focusing on some of my favorite fitness equipment that are good for home use!

Even if you have a gym membership there are times that you may want to workout from home or if your traveling, you may not have access to a gym!

Having some great options at your finger tips is essential!!

Here Goes……..

A TRX System-

This is some of my clients FAVORITE equipment! They can not get enough of it!

Others though are not fans! It’s a mixed field!

I absolutely love a TRX.

There are times I scoff and say to my self that there is NO way I will be sore and then I do something and BOOM-I’m crazy sore the next day! I guess there really is something about using your body weight!!

The real TRX’s are expensive and there are several knock offs that are not bad.

No matter if you use the real deal or a cheaper version make sure you check you equipment often! Wear and tear happens!

There really is NO end to the variations, the exercises or even cardio that you can do with this equipment!

A Kettlebell-

Now these are not as travel appropriate! But if you are going by car they do behave well in the car!! I have at least 2-3 in my Jeep at all times!!

They are however, very versatile. You can use them in place of a dumbbell for several exercises-Rows, Squats, Lunges, OH presses and SO many more!

They are also great for cardio. Try a kettlebell swing for 30 seconds and let me know how out of breath you are. But do watch a video or get instructed on the proper technique!

Again it is such a versatile piece of equipment!

Last BUT Not Least……

A Stability Ball-

A good quality stability ball is a must to any home gym!

I use mine in place of a bench most of the time(its really good for your core!!), for many of your ab workouts its a great asset, as well as stretching and I even use it for a chair!!

A stability ball also packs well and you can travel with one! You just deflate and pack your pump. Most come with a small pump that is small and can be packed as well! A word of caution- if you use an air compressor to fill it DO NOT overfill! They can pop!

Do make sure you buy a good, thick quality one and place them in an area where your cat cannot get ahold of them!! Yes, I have experience with this. A small tear and your behind on the ball lead to very loud bursts!! LOL

There You Have It!

That is my month favorites rundown!

Literally I use all 3 of these most every workout I do!

These aren’t just my favorites but my essentials!

Plus You can combine some and use in a workout!!

What about you??

Do you use any of these?

How often do you use a TRX, Kettlebell or Stability ball?

Have you ever traveled with any of this equipment?

Do you love them as much as I do?

Until Next Time!!!




Looking in the Rearview Mirror……

Have you ever seen the meme that says, “I wish I was as thin as I was back when I thought I was fat.” and the one that also says, “When I was thin I thought I was fat. Now that I am fat I know I was thin. But now it’s too late.”

Recently I was looking through some pictures and I had those exact thoughts!

It’s so easy to get disgusted and frustrated when you stop and you think how you felt about yourself during those times!

Back then, I beat myself up so bad thinking that I was huge!

It’s so easy to fall into bad thinking patterns!

Repeat History

Now I’ve battled my weight my whole life! 


My weight gain started when I was a young child after my dad had left.

I can reason that I replaced my dad with food but also it’s just genetics. In our family we have a history of hypothyroidism which also makes it really hard to lose weight!

When I was 12, I became an anorexic.

I struggled with that for a period of about two years. I guess, I should say, actively struggled with it for two years- meaning I looked like I was anorexic and lost my period. I was severely underweight but not to the point of being hospitalized.

I eventually came out of it. I probably should have gone through counseling for it, but that really wasn’t a thing at that time and I really think most of the doctors I dealt with really had no idea what to do with me! I feel like this is why disordered eating has followed me all of my life.

I have seemed to bounce between severely restricting myself and over eating. It’s a very ugly cycle.

I went through many years of restricting and way under eating, then finally my thyroid went kaput!

And then perimenopause happened!

It’s an ugly storm!

I have gained weight that I find very embarrassing.

The crazy thing is that in the last several years I have eaten healthier than I have in a long time but again, I tend to under eat for the amount of activity that I do. And that can also damage your metabolism as well!

Yeehaw!! What fun-not!

Back to Today-

I’ve done a lot of work mentally! I’ve come to a place where I really have started to appreciate and accept myself for who I am!

Some of what I appreciate about myself are:

*I know I am pretty physically strong!

*I am extremely healthy – minus the thyroid disfunction! I eat healthy, and exercise.

*I know that I’m doing the right things!

I could let pictures like that totally set me back! And at the height of my anorexia it would have!

But I’ve come to the place where I can objectively look at those pictures and say I’m OK where I’m at right now!

And it’s OK to be OK with who I am right now!

That doesn’t mean I give myself permission to go hogwild eating junk.

But it gives me permission to be the person that I am right now!

It gives me permission to enjoy exercise and not try to kill myself exercising just to fit in a certain size. 

It gives me permission to eat the right amounts of healthy food and to not starve myself with such tiny amounts of food like I have in the past several years when I’ve been in the middle of under eating! Which is just another form of an eating disorder!

I am at a good place, but I have had to fight to get here! Just like my prior blog post about negative voices( it is really hard to not listen to those and to let yourself get down!

It’s Ok to Not Be In Control-

This is probably one of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn. I’ve learned it with my weight and with my boys.

It’s ok to not be in control.

One big thing with anorexia is most of the time it is not a weight thing that causes it.

Anorexia often happens because you can’t control what is going on in your life. But, what you eat and how you exercise is something that you can control! You are often praised for having that control and that just spurs the fire!

When I started to gain weight because my thyroid was out of whack and when peri-menopause started as well as damaging my metabolism by undereating- I really felt out of control!

Again, a lot of mental work has gone on here!

I have had to do a lot of prayer and a lot of scripture reading to realize that ultimately God is in control and I am not!

Just like Psalm 139 says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. God did not make a mistake when He made me!(Whew did I really just write that? That’s a HUGE step!)

What I really have to learn during this time is-what would God have me to do? What lesson does God have for me during this time?

This is where growth will happen!

I am still working on it! And probably will until the day I die!

Today I stuck those pictures I found in my planner. Not as a reminder of what I should be, but as a reminder of the lessons I’ve learned in the past few years.

My prayer is that if you struggle with eating disorders or not accepting yourself for who you are and constantly looking back at what was-that you will let it go, accept yourself for who you are right now and realize what a wonderful gift you are!

I know this was a deep post and kind of serious but I hope that it touches someone that is struggling with feeling like they’re not enough or that they should be something that they can’t be!

What about you?

Are you struggling with your body image or your weight?

Are you beating yourself up over things that you can’t control at this time, especially if you’re doing everything that you should be doing?

Feel free to comment! I love to hear from you all!


Me Now!!


Personal Training Client Spotlight!!!

I am going to be starting a new monthly segment-Client Spotlights!!

I absolutely love my clients!

They not only are my clients but most have become close, trusted friends!

My clients are as different as night and day and that keeps my work interesting!

What workout one loves, the other hates.

Their goals are varied and different, they each have their own set of emotions and hardships. Sometimes those hardships carry over to their workouts. When they’re struggling emotionally they may need to workout some anger or frustration. I may need to be their cheerleader, drill Sargent or they might just need a hug that day!

This is what makes my job worth it.

The relationships.

The realness.

The Interview-

I asked a variety of questions.

Favorites, least favorites.


My favorite saying!

The responses were so funny!

First Client Spotlight-

Julie Spriggs-

Spectacular Client Interview Questionnaire


Julie Spriggs

*Age: (not required only if you want!!):


*How long have you been training?

May 2017

*What spurred you to start training?

I wanted to learn how to powerlift and get strong!

*Why did you feel using a personal trainer was for you?

I need the accountability and the guidance!

*What are your fitness goals?

To be strong

*What is your least favorite exercise?

Anything ABS

*What is your favorite exercise?


*Do you have a favorite piece of equipment?


*What equipment makes you roll your eyes and say not again?


*What’s your favorite healthy food?

Pizza(Carb, Protein, Fat)

*What is your favorite treat meal?


*What’s one of my favorite sayings?


*What is one of your biggest accomplishments while you’ve been training with me?

200 pound Deadlift

*Would you recommend Amy as a personal trainer and why or why not?

Yes! She knows her stuff + is willing to help you meet your goals. She doesn’t dictate goals to you.

Julie was one of my first personal training clients!

I have enjoyed watching her grow from barely being able to deadlift 50 pounds to deadlifting 200 pounds!! It is so rewarding to see your clients succeed!

We’ve had some physical setbacks but, through it all she keeps working, keeps moving ahead and continues to put in the work!

I am super excited to see what the future has in sore for her!!

Until Next time!!!




Good Changes are Coming!

I recently decided I needed to make some changes in several areas of my life.

I am odd in that I actually do like change.

I find that I get stale and complacent if I don’t change things up!

When I switch things up here and there, I tend to get bored and sloppy!

After some careful consideration, I decided to make changes physically and business wise!

Physical Changes-


I really do believe that whole, healthy foods and eating from all food groups in your daily diet are really important. I try to not jump on diet bandwagons and try the latest, greatest diet out there.


In the past I tried eating a modified Paleo diet. I had good results.

Though, I eventually went back to counting macros and eating bread and other non-paleo foods!

I struggle with fibromyalgia and it seemed that bread(even my homemade that was glycophosfate free), crackers and snacks were causing it to flare up worse and when I often ate it, I would be stiff and achy.

I also had stomach issues when I would eat breads, crackers and etc.

So here I am doing the Paleo diet again.

I modify it in that I do allow a small bit of cheese and I eat Greek yogurt as well as some quinoa.

I am feeling so much better and my body is less achy and cranky!

A great side effect was losing 5 pounds the first week!


I have started to focus more on strength in my weight workouts. I’ve always been pretty strong, but I am focusing on it more!

It is really hard but I am enjoying it tremendously!

It is totally awesome to hit PR’s(personal records)! Seriously(sorry guys), it is awesome to be lifting a weight and look over and see that I am lifting heavier than the guy beside me!!

Who knows where it might lead!

More about that in a future post!!!

Business Changes-

After much consideration, I have decided to make the Personal Training aspect of my business my sole focus.

I tried for quite a while to incorporate my Personal Training business with trying to start a doTERRA business.

Perhaps I am bad at juggling things but I just felt like I couldn’t do justice to them both!

I feel very passionate about my personal training business. I get great satisfaction in helping others achieve their fitness goals and get healthier!

To me, it was a no brainer that I wanted to throw all my energy into the personal training!

I am keeping the name Essential Fitness because I try to focus on, teach and train what I feel are the essentials of fitness- Weights(heavy and light), Cardio and Yoga & stretching

I have put myself in a Sharer position with doTERRA and will continue to support and help my oil clients however I can!

Since deciding to solely focus on the Personal Training aspect of my business, I feel like I need to change up my logo and my website a bit!

So, be on the look out for a New Logo and some changes to my website!


One other change to keep an eye out for is merchandise!!

I want to offer some fitness t-shirts and tanks, car decals and water bottles!

I love making and designing shirts so I am super excited about that!



Water Bottles-

Also, Also-

I want to incorporate some fitness challenges throughout the year!

They will give you a chance to step up your fitness level!

I will be incorporating weekly healthy eating challenges as well as some weekly fitness challenges!

I will be offering a prizes to those who accomplish all their tasks!

More on this later!

Keep an eye open for the first one towards the end of the month!

Also, Also, Also-

I will be closing my Essential Fitness group that I currently have and will be establishing an Essential Fitness Tribe group.

This will be revamped and refocused on all aspects of fitness and healthy eating! I may also incorporate some essential oil things here and there!

If you would like to be a part of this new group message me on FB I will also be putting the link for the new group on the old one for a week or so where you can join that way!


I think that’s it as far as changes for now!!!

Thank you for joining me for this wild ride!

I look so forward to more fun adventures with all of you!