Today, I created wanted to catch up with you all via this vlog because I haven’t had much time to blog lately. In the video I chatted about:

What I’ve been up to over the past couple months which has mostly been my 10 Day Spring Detox and my 3-part video series called Everything You Need To Know About Detoxing.

10-Day Spring Detox
How I started balancing out my hormones, losing weight and got clearer skin naturally with a whole life detox.

The GAPS Diet which is a gut healing protocol that I’ve been doing to heal my leaky gut.

Bone Broth Soup

My teleclass “What’s Gut Got To Do With It? How Poor Digestion May Be Making You Toxic and Keeping You Fat”.

You can’t half-ass your gut health.

Spring time in NYC and self care in the form of surprise dates with Chris! ;) My surprise date for Chris was taking him to Target First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum and dinner. We heard great music, enjoyed wine as we checked out all of the beautiful exhibits, and had a lovely dinner at my favorite restaurant Bareburger. I can’t wait to see what Chris has planned for us this Saturday!

You can expect to see more of these videos from me here on exsoycise since I will be trying to focus more on cranking out more awesome informative posts on mine and Chris’s blog Awakened Nutrition & Training! I look forward to sharing more videos with you soon!

Amber Signature

P.S. Wanna sneak peek into one of my 10-Day Detox programs that uses the elimination diet? Sign up to get my FREE 3-Day Detox and jump-start your weight loss now!





The following post is sponsered by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Les Mills. All opinions are my own.


Don’t you just LOVE those workouts where you leave the gym and you are already so sore that you are having trouble walking down the street?


Well I’m on day 4 post-workout and I’m still feeling the burn from taking a BodyPump class for the very first time on last Monday night! It probably hurts so much because I haven’t worked out in a week or so because of a bad cut on my finger the week prior. So this was actually a great first workout to get me back to my workout routine!


I’m usually not one to take classes at the gym unless it’s a hot yoga class and I’ve occasionally taken some spinning classes which I haven’t done in a while. I’m a weight room kinda gal. I love having my weight routine schedule and I love to push myself each week lifting as heavy as possible!
So when I was invited to come try out the new Les Mills BodyPump class at New York Sports Club, I was super excited! I had heard great things about it in the past and I knew there wasn’t any dancing or 2lb hand weights involved.


This class was designed so that you can progress your workouts by adjusting the weights according to which exercise you are doing. It just wouldn’t make much sense to squat with the same weight that you are able to do a bicep curl with! I think that’s where a lot of classes get it wrong because how can you ever progress if you are using the same weights for each body part.


The original LES MILLS™ barbell class will sculpt, tone and strengthen your entire body fast – with THE REP EFFECT™ – by leading participants in 70-100 repetitions per body part totaling up to 800 repetitions in a single workout.  The weight training movements in BODYPUMP® give gym-goers a feeling of confidence through hard-core moves like tricep push-ups, clean-and-presses and hang cleans. After all, strong is the new skinny!

I got sore just reading 800 reps!! But I was totally up for the challenge!

Bodypump sign

When I got to the class, there was already a huge line outside and I was surprised to see a mix of both men and women! I guess I’m just used to seeing classes made up of mostly women at the gyms I normally go to.


The doors opened and everyone rushed inside. I had to move fast to get a spot which of course happened to be on the very front row. I grabbed a step bench, mat, a bar, clamps and several weight plates.


We loaded our weights and got started with a clean to press, we did several presses both slow and fast paced and then supersetted with some squat presses! The count usually went 3 slow counts down, 1 count up.  We then, reloaded our weights a bit heavier to work our leg muscles. The tempo of each exercise went right along with all of the awesome music. Later in the workout we used the step up bench for the chest press, tricep push-ups and the tricep dips. My muscles were screaming the entire time!


The exercises included:
Squats and lunges
Deadlifts to bent-over rows
Upright rows to single plate shoulder press
Incline tricep push-ups, dips and overhead tricep plate extensions
Push-ups, bench press to single plate chest fly
Barbell bicep curls to single plate hammer curls.
Abs and stretching


The instructors, Nicole and Thorsten, who were both in amazing shape and did each exercise with us, gave general guidelines on what weights to use throughout the workout. So for legs and chest she suggested heavier weights, and for bicep curls she suggested using weights slightly heavier than your warm-up set. My warning for your first class is to probably go slightly lighter than you think you can handle. I know that when I’m in the weight room, I can bench and curl much more weight than I used for that class but you also have to take in consideration that you will be doing higher intensity, higher reps vs. If you were doing an exercise where you only do 8-12 reps.

I thought this class was awesome, it was challenging, it’s customizable which is great since we are all at different fitness levels, and it was a great full body workout. Because my goal is to build strength, I wouldn’t use this class to replace my daily weight regimen, but I would  add it into the mix as high intensity full body workout! My only regret was that I forgot to wear my heart rate monitor so I could see how many calories I burned!! Next time!

Nicole and Thorsten Bodypump

(PS. Nicole and Thorsten way out squatted the instructor in this video! ;) I told Thorsten after the class that he had one of the deepest squats that I had ever seen!)


If you want to get your bootay kicked by BodyPump and you live in New York, then you are in luck!! They are offering the class at 36 different locations and I am giving away a FREE 30 day membership so that you can do your own BodyPump makeover! This pass retails at $125 so don’t miss out on this sweet deal!
Bodypump 30 day pass

 For a chance to win please leave a comment below telling me about your experience with BodyPump OR why you want to want to try BodyPump

Giveaway Terms: . I will select the winner using And The Winner Is plug-in on Wednesday, April 9th. You must be a US resident and should be local or planning to visit NY so that you are able to use the pass.


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Happy Friday all of you fabulously fit people!

I have so much to tell you guys about the improvements I’m making with my food allergies, but that is going to have to wait for the next post when I have more time to lay it all down in a lengthy post…or it may even need to be a series of posts. We will see! If you can’t wait until next week and are curious to find out now, you can go check out all the yummy gut healing foods I’m eating on my Instagram feed!

Speaking of Instagram, I actually get a lot of comments from people who love to follow me to get healthy food inspiration. My friend, Laura aka Von Hottie, even told me that when she goes to the grocery store and doesn’t know what to buy, she will pull up my Instagram page and use the photos of my food as a virtual shopping list! Ha! I love that idea.

I think a lot of people out there have the desire to eat healthier food, but they don’t really know where to start. It can be really overwhelming with all of the stories out there with conflicting information on what food you should and shouldn’t eat. There is also a big misconception out there that eating healthy is boring or bland, but you and I know that is SO far from the truth!

So a couple of weeks ago, I got an email from the awesome folks at Whole Foods telling me about their personal New Year resolution to make healthy eating easier and tastier for it’s shoppers and to kick the year off, they were offering new healthy eating store tours for shoppers! They invited me to come check out one of the new tours with one of their Healthy Eating Specialists. I am a huge lover of Whole Foods, so of course I said yes!

I was able to choose from the following tours:

  • Health Starts Here Tour - Showcasing the company’s Four Pillars of Healthy Eating—eating unprocessed foods, focusing on Plant-Strong™ foods, choosing healthy fats, and considering nutrient dense foods—the tour is designed to help you jumpstart a healthy lifestyle.
  • Avoiding Gluten Tour - Spotlighting Whole Foods Market’s expansive offering of high-quality products, this tour offers ingredient-based culinary tips and plenty of recipe inspiration for those who want to avoid gluten.
  • Heart Health Tour - With cooking techniques, meal prep tips and tasty recipes that promote cardiovascular health, this tour helps shoppers navigate aisles of each department all while gaining insight.

I decided to go with the Health Starts Here tour because I’m already very familiar with the gluten free lifestyle and right now my heart is in pretty good shape.

photo (6)

When I got there, I was greeted warmly by the Healthy Eating Specialist, Kelly. She gave me one of Whole Foods new gray canvas shopping bags and inside where some of her favorite goodies from around the store. First, she took us to the produce department and explained a little bit about the tour and the Four Pillars of Healthy Eating: eating plant based and whole unprocessed foods that are as close to nature as possible, choosing nutrient dense foods and eating healthy fats made from whole foods.


She pointed out that it’s easy to shop for Health Starts Here approved foods, they are labeled throughout the store and are usually located on the shelves, like you see in the picture below, or on some packaging.

photo (7)

Kelly encourages everyone to eat the rainbow – try and eat as many colorful vegetables as you can in one sitting to get the most nutrients. Go for dark leafy greens and also add in more stealthy healthy greens like parsley, which most people think of as just a garnish but is actually is packed with B vitamins.

photo 1We checked out the Meals in a Minute section which was filled with lots of delicious vegetable variations that you can just scoop into a container and take home to throw in a sauté or a soup. At times these are the more expensive option, but it’s a really great option for if you or short on time, you only want a half portion of something and also for those who are just getting started with healthy eating. We chatted about how some people only want half portions of vegetables because they don’t want them to go to waste, and she told me a little secret…the produce department will cut produce in half for you! All you have to do is ask! How cool is that?

photo 3 (4)

We then walked over to the to check out the seafood. Kelly suggested eating salmon for healthy omega3 fats and to also go for shrimp when looking for something delicious to cook. I learned that WFM exercises sustainable fishing practices which is why you won’t see much tuna steaks on the shelves. She suggests to always make vegetables the star of the plate and then add in about 3-4 ounces of fish. If you wanted more meat in your diet, she suggests to go for organic grassfed beef which is also high in omega-3 fats and the taste is much more flavorful than conventional meats! I 100% agree with that statement!

If you are low on time or just don’t feel like doing much food preps, you can grab some of the quick dinner options such as the fajita kits, which have one portion of meat and loaded with vegetables.

We moved onto the healthy fats. Kelly suggested grabbing some delicious olives from the olive bar because they are loaded with healthy fats and also have fiber. Another great healthy fat to enjoy are sprouted nuts, such as almonds. They are more flavorful than normal nuts, but cost a bit more due to the preparation method.

If you are eating whole grains and legumes, she suggests to properly prepare them by soaking and cooking them at home rather than buy canned. Her top favorites are the black lentils which are black in color and when cooked up they are glossy and have a smokey taste. Some refer to them as the caviar of lentils. She gave me a bag to take home to try, so once my gut is healed, I will give them a try!

Kelly also shared with us her own personal success story of how she has lost 30lbs by aligning the philosophy of Whole Foods with her own life goals. After an eye-opening employee healthy vacation trip, she has incorporated a plant based whole food diet which helped her to lose the pounds and made her realize that she feels much better eating this way. She also said that even though she chooses to eat a plant based diet, she respects the eating choices of other people and tailors each tour to fit their needs.

Another top secret tip I learned while on our tour is that if you ever want to try something, you can just ask an associate and they are empowered to open most of the products to let you sample it. While we were in the frozen food section, a shopper asked Kelly for feedback on an item she was on the fence about buying. Kelly said she had not tried them, so she opened the bag up right there and let the woman take a taste test! Now that’s great customer service!

photo 5

There is a common misconception that eating healthy food is much more expensive. Kelly says that eating whole food can be affordable by watching for sales on lean protein and vegetables each week. Another money saving tip that she pointed out and I have used for the last year or so, is to buy organic frozen vegetables and fruit. They cost about the same and are almost always fresher and retain more nutrients than the non-organic vegetables you find in the produce section.This is because most fresh produce travels long distances and sits on shelves for quite a while before it actually makes it into your kitchen. Frozen is usually flash frozen hours after harvesting which helps to retain the nutrients.

Lastly, we explored the different milk alternatives such as nut, hemp and coconut milk. They are a great substitute if dairy is not tolerated, but you really have to look out for high sugar content. Often times, the problem with people switching over to a healthier diet, especially gluten free, is that people will switch one unhealthy food with a “healthier” version of the same thing. But swaping a conventional cookie, for a gluten free cookie is not what eating healthy is all about and Kelly works hard to educate shoppers on healthy lifestyle changes based on real whole foods.

The tour was a lot of fun and very informative! I think it would be great for someone who is just getting started with healthy eating and needs ideas on new foods to prepare. You could also bring family members or even small children who would benefit from some education on healthy eating. They can ask as many questions as they’d like and also get great cooking tips along the way!

If you are interested in taking one of Whole Foods new tours, you can schedule a tour by stopping by the customer service desk. Tours can usually accommodate 2-3 people depending on what time of day you schedule your tour. What I loved, was that each tour can be customized depending on food allergies and personal food styles.

Now, I want to send you guys to Whole Foods to take your own healthy eating tour! Enter below to win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift certificate!

Amber Williford



Sign up here to receive your FREE 7 day meal plan (soy, dairy & gluten free) with tips, guide and shopping list!





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*Financial compensation was not received for this post. A gift card was gifted from Whole Foods Market. Opinions expressed here are my own.



Dr. Oz, Sardines and Fit Bloggers, OH MY!

by Amber on February 1, 2014

That’s right I said it…SARDINES!

We will get to that in a minute. How are you?? Are you getting excited to go watch the Broncos win Super Bowl XLVIII tomorrow?! I know we are! Chris is originally from Denver, so naturally he is a diehard fan of the Broncos. Since we just happen to be in NYC this Super Bowl and his team is playing, Chris decided to snatch up some tickets to go see the big game with his brother. He is going to have the best time! While he is freezing his buns off at the game, I will be heading over to our friend’s house to watch the game. I decided today that I will bring over some bacon wrapped figs and dates with a balsamic reduction {YUM}!

Now rewind to last weekend. I got an invite to a NYC Fit Blogger Brunch here in Brooklyn hosted by the lovely Margo of Brooklyn Fit Chick. Of course I said yes! We all brought over a bunch of delicious dishes to share, my favorites were: the parsnips with bacon from my dear friend Kerry of Queen Bacon {I need this recipe, amazing!!}, of course the big bowl of fruit {because it was my high carb day, whatttt!}, Rebecca’s meat balls with flax tortilla chips and guacamole, and my Paleo apple crisp! We all hung out, ate, talked about fitness, food, celebrity gossip, ate some more, and tried out the awesome Da Vinci Bodyboard. It’s basically a foldable wooden board that allows you to incorporate strength training and cardio in a short workout in your living room. It was equipped with resistance band for both your hands and feet as well as band running along the side that you can use for movements like lunges to shoulder press or a side lateral raise. It was very cool, I seriously need one of these in my life!

Fit brunch

I met some amazingly fit ladies: Nellie from Brooklyn Active Momma, Lynette of Life’s Better in Yoga Pants, Kelly of Curvy Fit Girl and finally connected with the lovely Cassandre from Losing in the City, we have been trying to connect since we both attended Integrative Nutrition last year. Check them all out! It definitely got our minds off of this awful cold weather we’ve had lately! It was an all around great time and to make it even more awesome, Margo gave us some really great goodie bags filled with lots of workout DVDs, hot pink shoe laces, books, and a headband {WOWbest brunch take home ever!!}. I can’t wait to do this again soon!

Tuesday, I went to a taping of the Dr. Oz show with Chris, my friend Helin the Shoportunista and Jocelyn from An Unprocessed Life. I applied for the tickets online about two weeks ago for Helin and I, it was a really easy process, then at the last minute I got an email saying they had two more tickets for me! I had to wake up at 6am to start getting ready, Chris and I jumped on the subway and arrived to the ABC studio at 8am. We quickly got through security and stood in line, we waited in the hallway for about 20 or so minutes. While we waited we checked out the posters hanging up of the different shows and noticed The View’s posted which featured an almost unrecognizable Jenny McCarthy. She looked very pretty as always but her face was so touched up that you could hardly tell it was her! Such a shame.

Dr Oz taping

They started shuttling us up in large groups up the elevators into a large curtained off room with chairs and the coat check rack. We sat here for maybe another 20 minutes before some of the crew came in to look for volunteers to be on the show. I was so excited, I really wanted to be on but they were actually looking for a group of 4 over weight people, so sadly and thankfully I didn’t fit the bill.

Shortly after, they started calling sections to go on the set to get seats. I actually did a little research before the show and read that if you wore bright colors, you were more likely to get put in the front row. So we were all decked out in our most colorful tops in hopes we would get seated up front. When we walked up to the crew, they asked how many you were in each group and then scan all of the rows to find the perfect spot for the group. It was funny because you could see that they were intentionally sitting men in the back and women up close. They originally sat all four of us together about 4-5 rows up from the front behind a pair of large cameras. I was nervous we wouldn’t make it on camera where we were seated but the crew made an announcement that everyone would be seen. Then as the seats started getting fuller, we were approached by a crew member who instructed for the girls in the teal and pink {Helin and I} to come down to the front! I was beyond excited and also a little sad that our group was being split up…but mostly excited! ;)

The audience was then instructed on the layout of the show and at what times we should clap {my hands were so tired of clapping by the time the show was over!}. Finally the show began, they announced Dr. Oz and he walk out of the door directly to the right of Helin and I. I was so excited when those doors opened! Dr. Oz walked right out, shook mine and Helin’s hand, and thanked us for coming {look Ma, I’m on T.V.)! We couldn’t believe what luck we had with the seat change! Looks like wearing bright colors really does get you on the front row! ;)

The show was really great. I figured it could be really hit or miss, you never know with these things. The show topics included:

  • Healthy fats, both mono and polyunsaturated: He said we should all add one serving of good quality fats like avocado, coconut  and olive oil, almonds and other nut butters to each meal.
  • Ways to get calcium from non-dairy sources. More and more people are becoming dairy intolerant so Dr. Oz suggested to get your daily dose of calcium from sardines (see video below), sesame and sunflower seeds, and pine nuts.
  • He introduced a new supplement called FBCx. It is a natural soluble fiber that claims to reduce calorie absorption by up to 500 fat calories per day.  The way it works is by binding to the fats preventing it from being digested or stored, it then passes through the intestense and elliminated as waste. They claim that there are no side effects from this supplement. There were a lot of Ewwwws and Ahhhhs when Dr. Oz introduced this new potential weight loss supplement. I am sure that people will be running to the stores to buy this stuff after the show airs.
  • Make-up contouring and color blocking your outfit to make give the appearance you are 10lbs lighter.

Watch the video below to hear about my sardine experience!


Are you a fan or sardines? If so, what’s your favorite way to enjoy them?  

Amber Williford


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Good morning and TGIF!! What do you have planned for this weekend?

So far I am planning on going to a brunch here in Brooklyn with some of my fellow fit bloggers. Which reminds me, I still need to think of something to prepare! Other than that, I might have some friends over Saturday night and then going to church Sunday afternoon. I will also fit in some workouts over the weekend since I missed a couple this week.

Happy Friday!

Today I wanted to break away from nutrition and fitness posts to talk about what’s really important….nail polish {duh!}. I discovered this fabulous nail polish last year and I am absolutely hooked! Julep looks amazing, it dries very quickly, and stays on the nail a really long time! My toenail polish lasted 3 weeks once last summer. Insane! The way it works is you sign up to receive your free box, take the style profile quiz and very shortly after you will receive your Julep Maven box in the mail filled 2 nail polishes and another beauty product. Julep also gives you the option to add on extra bottles of nail polish for only $5 before you check out, they normally run about $9-$10 on their own.  Check out my video below for more details and silliness :)

Free Box of Julep Maven Nail Polish

Use code FREEBOX to get your first monthly box of beauty FREE!



What is your nail style? Are you a matte or a glossy kind of gal?

What are your plans this weekend?

Amber Williford

**This is not a sponsored post, this is a product I truly love and all opinions are my own. However, if you do sign up for a box and continue service after the free box, I do make a very small commision which will helps to keep this blog rolling!



3 Things I Love About the Keto Diet and a Coconut Snowball Treat Recipe

January 23, 2014

Happy Thursday all of you fabulously fit people! Yesterday I told you all about how I was using the ketogenic diet to try to fix my gut while losing weight and building muscle. Well I wanted to tell you a few reasons why I like keto and share a delicious recipe with you! I am rarely […]

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Why I Decided to Ditch Carbs to Heal My Leaky Gut and Lose Weight

January 22, 2014

Happy Wednesday FitFam! Today I want to talk goals, carbs, fat and food allergies! Most of you may already know my story but for those of you who may not, I will give you an update to get you up to speed. I started my health and fitness journey about 3.5ish years ago after I […]

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My Year 2013 In a Nutshell: Working Out with Jillian Michaels & Shaun T, My Best Body Ever & a FREE Gift For YOU!

January 20, 2014

Whoa can you guys believe that it’s already the 20th of January and as of last night the Broncos are going to the Super Bowl XLVLL?!! Craziness!  Well happy 2014! I hope your year is going well and you are sticking to all of your goals and resolutions! 2013 was a crazy and awesome for […]

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My Top 6 Sexy Fat Loss Tips + a Giveaway!

November 7, 2013

Hi FitFam! Yesterday’s Workout Your Life #MYBx22 twitter chat was amazing! #MYBx22 Takeaways: Dream BIG,make small changes,find your tribe,listen to your body,take a rest day,no oreos & milk, say I’LL TRY not I CAN’T Thanks to everyone who submitted questions and joined in the fun! If you want more updates on fun events like these then sign […]

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Tweet With Me at The WORKOUT YOUR LIFE #MYBx22 Live Twitter Chat Tomorrow!

November 5, 2013

MOTIVATION: Want to LIVE TWEET with me TOMORROW @ 1pm EST?! Follow me @exsoycise @MYBnation @socialworkout and the rest of the crew below! What: WORKOUT YOUR LIFE #MYBx22: A Live Twitter Chat with Move Your Booty, hosted by Social Workout! Social Workout and Move Your Booty invite you to participate in a live twitter chat […]

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