Friday, April 11, 2014

Olive Garden Copy-Cat Recipe: Moscato Berry Splash

I think we can all agree one of THE best things about spring and summer are the yummy, fruity drinks. Especially ones with alcohol! Olive Garden happens to have one of my favorite summer-y drinks: Moscato Berry Splash.  It's light and sweet with a perfect fruity twist.  After playing around with a few ingredients I've created the PERFECT at-home recipe! It's so delicious I had to share.. you can thank me later ;)

Best part is, it's only 3 ingredients!

What You'll Need:

1 1/4 oz Monin Blueberry Syrup
3 oz Primo Amor Moscato
1/2 oz Simply Lemonade

These are just the ingredients I prefer and the measurements I used that came pretty dang close to tasting like the original.  My measurements are also for a 12oz glass.  You can always modify or use your own favorites! A friend mentioned using Blueberry Schnapps instead of the syrup to add a little more kick!

What To Do:

Add the moscato, blueberry syrup and then lemonade in an iced glass! That's it! Easy-peasy!

To garnish and make it pretty just add a lemon wheel and a few blueberries to the cup!

Leave a comment once you've tried this with your thoughts or any modifications you made! 

PS- Don't forget to follow me on instagram (@amanda_cervantez) I'm always posting recipes, workouts, and cute dog pictures ;) 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Spinach Sunday

If you've been following my blog, that also means you've been following my weight loss journey.  It's been a long journey, but definitely worth it.  When I started the journey I had no idea it would turn into a complete lifestyle change.  I now work out (almost) daily, and eat (mostly) organic, healthy food.  I say mostly because it's currently girl scout cookie season, and please, who can pass up those thin mints?!

If you would have told me a year ago that I would like spinach, I would have laughed in your face but I LOVE spinach now and add it to nearly everything! So, I wanted to let you in on a pretty fantastic recipe I whipped up: Gluten Free-Spinach-Pumpkin Pancakes. I've been doing a bit of research on going gluten free and while I'm not completely gluten free, I have found myself feeling better when I do without so I've been experimenting a bit with gluten free recipes.  Did you know healthy food can actually taste great?! These pancakes are DELICIOUS. You'd never know they're healthy!  Also, spinach just doesn't have a taste to me which is another reason I add it to everything.  Is it normal for spinach to have no taste or are my taste buds weirdos?! Anyway, the recipe is super easy which makes it even better!  Since I can't taste spinach, these taste like yummy pumpkin pancakes! And since they're green they'd be perfect for a St. Patrick's Day breakfast!

What you'll need:
Gluten Free pancake mix.  I used the BisQuick brand for these but you can always use regular non gluten free pancake mix! The only ingredients needed to make the mix are: 1 egg, 1 Cup of milk, 2 TB margarine.  I used cage free eggs and organic milk for the mix.
Pumpkin. I use organic pumpkin puree from a brand called Farmers Market.  It's 100% just organic pumpkin- no added ingredients.  Hooray! I found it at a local grocery store as well, so it should be pretty easy to locate.
Spinach! I used just a handful of organic (chopped) spinach for this recipe.

How to make it:
-Blend all the ingredients for the pancake mix with a mixer.
-Add in the pumpkin. (I used about 1 Cup)
-Add in the chopped spinach.  I had used a magic bullet to chop up the spinach before adding it to the mixer.  And that's it! Just blend all of those ingredients in the mixer!

We lost track of our griddle in the big move so I just made the pancakes in a regular skillet!
We switched to organic olive oil Pam instead of the regular spray and it works just as well! 
It may not look too appetizing while cooking but they turn out fantastic! 

This recipe made about 8 medium sized pancakes! We had a few leftovers so I popped them in the freezer to heat up for another day!  In total, it maybe took 20 minutes to prepare and cook everything.

Instead of using regular syrup filled with high fructose corn syrup, I topped the pancakes with agave nectar and it was deeee-licious! Husband approved, even ;)
Easy-peasy, right?!

For more recipes, inspiration and fitness tips, follow me here  on instagram! I do also post a bunch of cute dog pictures- sorry, not sorry! (instagram: amanda_cervantez)

You're welcome ;)

Sunday, October 20, 2013


So here's a story I rarely tell because I'm such a weirdo but in high school I was on the swim team.  I was pretty good at it and enjoyed it a lot too.  When it came to the meets and competitions, I would dive into the water and immediately start thinking about there being a shark chasing after me.  Yeah, that's right. As I was swimming, I'd picture a shark chasing behind me to get my butt moving even faster! I have to say, as weird as that sounds, it worked! It was just something in my head that motivated me to move and swim as fast as I could!  I can't believe I'm telling the world my weirdo story but since I'm talking about motivation, I felt obligated to share ;)

Now, even though I have gotten to the point in my life where working out is just apart of my daily routine (and I actually feel weird and thrown off if I miss a workout) we all need motivation from time to time.

I get a ton of emails and comments of people wishing they had my motivation or asking where do I get my motivation from, well, here's your answer: I'm tired of being fat.  Yep. That's it.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, when it comes to losing weight, you have to want to do it first of all and you have to do it for yourself.  My motivation comes from the fact that I honestly just want to lose this weight and I know the only good way of doing so is eating right and working out!  I started losing weight just because I didn't want to look like a cookie monster in my wedding photos but soon after the wedding I just couldn't just stop working out or go right back to eating garbage food.  I didn't want the hard work I had done to lose the weight before our wedding to just come back and all my hard work be done in vein so I stayed motivated and focused.

One thing I tell every person who asks for advice to do is take pictures of your progress.  I take pictures of my progress and if I'm in a slump, I look back and realize just how far I've come.  It help motivates me to keep me going and makes me want to get out there and go for a run or head to a body pump class!

I reward myself- if I lose 5 pounds I'll treat myself to a manicure or if I hit a goal weight, I might treat myself to a massage. I don't workout for those rewards but they're a nice little boost along the way to keep on going!  I also must say that I don't weight myself very often.  Maybe once every 2 weeks or once a month.  There are so many things that can factor into our weight from a day to day point that I think it adds too much stress to focus on the number on the scale every single day or week.

Another thing to help increase your motivation is find a workout buddy who is as committed to getting healthy as you are! I have an awesome workout buddy who is now trying to lose weight for her own wedding next month and it helps to have a friend boost you and be there for you!

And if all else fails just go out for a run and imagine Ryan Gosling is waiting for you at the finish line.  With a puppy.  That should do the trick ;)

For tips on how I've lost the weight you can read though my blogposts! You can also follow me on Instagram at:
amanda_cervantez (  I am ALWAYS posting healthy meals I make and workouts! Along with photos of my english bulldog :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tuesday Transformation.. on Monday.

I'm currently sitting in the computer lab at school doing anything and everything to avoid my last final so thought an update would be perfect!

The picture taken on the left was at last year's Flunk Day and the one on the right from this year's.  Flunk Day is when my college (Knox College) cancels ALL classes and basically has a HUGE carnival for students! It's the best day of the year!  Anyway, on my left I weighed about 200 pounds and the right I'm at 160ish!  

I've gotten in a rut lately that I can't seem to shake.  I've hit one of those loooong plateaus where no matter what I do I don't seem to lose the weight :(  I know I've just gotta keep on keepin' and it'll pass but it's nice to see hard work does pay off and knowing I'm only 20-25 pounds away from my goal weight is the best motivation! 

For tips on how I've lost weight you can refer to my blog! You can also follow me on instagram at:
amanda_cervantez  I am ALWAYS posting healthy meals I make, workouts, and photos!  []

Do you have any progress photos?!  Feel free to email me a snapshot and your story at:!  I'd love to start posting weekly followers photos for extra inspiration and motivation!! 


Friday, May 3, 2013

Run to the music!

One thing I absolutely NEED to workout is music.  I cannot run without it! I've tried just watching tv while I'm working out or talking to a friend or no music at all and I stop about 5 minutes in! So, I thought I'd share my favorite workout tunes with you all!!

I prefer more pop/hip hop music so 15 of my favorite songs are:
-Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris
-Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi
-Put On by Young Jeez
-Memories by David Guetta
-Pound the Alarm by Nicki Minaj
-Scream and Shout by and Britney Spears
-Die Young by Ke$ha
-Feel Again by One Republic
-Feel So Close by Calvin Harris
-Birthday Cake by Rihanna
-Let's Go by Calvin Harris
-Make the Money by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
-Hey Baby by Pitbull
-Lasers by Lupe Fiasco
-Work Hard, Play Hard by Wiz Khalifa

Some of the songs to have profane language but I think all of the songs have a great beat I can run to or have an upbeat tempo to keep me going!!

I also use Pandora a lot when working out and some of my favorite stations are:
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Radio
Harlem Shake Radio
Pop and Hip Hop Power Workouts Radio
Michael Jackson Radio
Today's Hits Radio
David Guetta Radio
Calvin Harris Radio

I swear, with these tracks and stations I could run all day!! Feel free to share some of your favorite workout tunes :)

I often post my workouts and healthy meal ideas on my Instagram so feel free to follow me there at:
amanda_cervantez []

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eat Yourself Skinny!

I work out A LOT but the biggest thing I've done to get healthy and lose weight is completely change my eating habits.  and I mean COMPLETELY change.  Before I would eat nothing for breakfast, grab McDonalds for lunch, and throw a pizza in the oven for dinner. horrible.   But I've since cut out nearly all pop, coffee, and fattening foods.  Of course every once in a while I'll go out to eat with family and friends but the majority of the time now I enjoy cooking healthy meals at home.  I never thought I would 1. Like healthy foods or 2. Enjoy cooking but I really do!  I thought I would share a few of my new EASY favorite recipes!

Flatbreads.  I've just recently tried flatbreads for the first time and I'm in love! I buy the low cal/low carb flatbread and have been making a ton of flatbread recipes of breakfast, lunch and dinner!
A lot of times, I'll throw a bunch of healthy stuff all together on a flatbread and enjoy it :)
This flatbread has a little cheese, turkey bacon, grilled chicken, peppers, tomatoes, and spinach! I didn't follow any certain recipe, just threw on a bunch of healthy stuff! 

Before, I used to only eat salads drenched in dressing which kinda defeats the whole healthy aspect of a salad ;)  Last week I threw some lettuce, organic grilled chicken, blackberries, and apples together and it was so delicious!  No dressing or croutons!  The crunch and sweetness of the apples was perfect with the lettuce and chicken and the blackberries added the perfect amount of juiciness! 

I've also been substituting potatoes for cauliflower!  I like cauliflower to begin with so this was an easy substitution! Instead of a baked potato I boiled cauliflower, mashed it a little and added some turkey bacon, a little cheese and greek yogurt like a loaded baked potato! 

One thing I've done to eat healthy is substitute a lot of food.  

Now, instead of using sour cream, I'll use Greek Yogurt.  

I eat turkey bacon and meat and bison meat instead of beef and regular bacon.  The turkey and bison meat is a lot more lean than beef.  

I make mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes! 

You can follow me on Instagram where I'm ALWAYS posting my food at:
I also post workouts and tips on there as well!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Transformations

Last week, I posted a photo that I showed my progress pretty well.  In 11 months I had lost 50 pounds and there was a huge difference, well I came across more photos that show that progression even better that I wanted to share.

I was actually looking through photos just to see if I could notice a difference between old and recent pics.. and I was shocked at the way I used to look a year ago.  I've mentioned before in my posts that I graduated high school around 125-130 pounds and gained almost 100 pounds during college.  I didn't want to admit how out of control my weight gain was.

I was looking for a difference in photos because lately, I've just hit a wall.  I work out hours everyday, eat healthy, and feel like I'm not making progress.  Well this is why I encourage you all to take photos along the way of your weight loss journey.  Seeing the progression- seeing your hard work paying off- seeing you're losing weight when you may not feel it is so motivating and inspiring.   I may feel like I haven't lost any weight but it's clear I have and I'm happy to see that progression. I was looking for more photos to compare but at my heaviest weight there are just not that many photos I wanted to be in so I only have a few to compare with.

My mom's expression when seeing this collage?  'WOW, I never realized you got so huge' THANKS MOM! ;) But it's true- looking back I just can't believe I let myself get that way but now know I won't let it happen again.

The photo on the left was taken Oct. 2011.  The photo on the right was taken Sept. 2012
I always post photos on Instagram of my workouts, meals, progress, and cute dog ;) feel free to follow me at:

Also, if you'd like to share your healthy meals, workouts, progression photos just hashtag: acgetfit (#acgetfit)
I think it'll be a fun way to share all of our awesome inspiration and tips!