A Look Into Faster Way Strategies

June 30, 2021

 If you've watched any Amanda Tress Insta Stories, or followed their corporate page (Faster Way to Fat Loss) you've gotten a good glimpse into the program. 

She really shares it all, except the part that is personalized just for you. 

I thought that today we would dive into what the program entails. 


Honestly I would best characterize Faster Way as flexible Paleo, if you've wanting a label. The focus is whole food nutrition. 

Burger Bowl

Meaning simply, if it has a mother or grows from the ground it's fair game. 

From there it is suggested that you don't consume dairy or gluten, and avoid processed foods. 

I'll be honest, I limit these items and don't eliminate them entirely. I've done several rounds of Whole30 and have learned to pay attention to how something makes me feel. For instance, I can have some yogurt or cottage cheese, but whole milk is the devil to my stomach. Gluten free is really great for me, just because when I have full blown hotdog buns I can tell my stomach is a bit more bloated. 

But I don't eliminate them. I've worked to a point of food freedom through the Faster Way that if we go to a friend's house for dinner I will still eat. There was a time that I would either not really eat or would bring my own little Tupperware of "approved foods".  That's not the case anymore. With the encouragement of "memories over macros" and Amanda herself telling clients to enjoy their vacations and special memories it makes it a much more realistic program. 

After years of a 1,200 calorie restricted diet, I needed to mind shift to food freedom within your macros. I can have a treat on Leg Day. I am also no longer eating 1,200 calories a day, or counting calories. 

We also carb cycle, simply meaning your macro goals change throughout the week. It sounds hard to start but it gets easy fairly quick. Two low carb days and the rest regular macro. 

Intermittent Fasting 

Can I admit that this one terrified me. 

I said in my last post that I followed Keto before joining Faster Way. IF is big in the Keto crowd, but I never jumped on. It seemed too big of a mountain to climb. 

I'm on a 16:8 protocol for fasting. Meaning my eating window is from about 11-6. 

When I first started I only fasted until 9AM. The next day 9:30. I carried this on until one day it was lunch and I hadn't realized I hadn't grabbed breakfast. 

It took about a week before I made it into 16:8 fasting, but now it's second nature. 

Faster Way has a quiz you can take to find out what your fasting protocol would be. There are also tons of information on the website about the benefits to fasting. To name a few: improved sleep, more energy, quicker recovery, hormone level increase, better immune system. 


This has by far been my favorite part of doing Faster Way in 2021. Back in 2018 when I began the pregnancy program all of the workouts were still just printed out. 

Now it's still offered in a printable, but they're also live in the app and on Facebook every day. Once you're in VIP you have access to the workout library and can, for instance, change up what workout you're doing on a HIIT day. Prefer Barre to Yoga, then pick what you love for your active recovery workout. 

Every week we have 2 HIIT workouts, 3 strength, 2 active recovery and quite often in VIP there is a monthly challenge and you have a quick 5-10 minute bonus round 3 days a week after your 30 minute workout. 

The Faster Way trainers are not just amazing because I am stronger than I've been in years, but for the first time since becoming pregnant with Harrison I can workout without pain. 

A little backstory, I fractured my wrist lifting weight while pregnant the first time. From there on I have struggled with being on my hands for planks and certain weight workouts. 

No with these ladies, they take such care to teach proper technique and train areas that are commonly ignored that I have not had my usual wrist workout pain since beginning in February of this year. 


If you want to read around a bit more, I advise it, then check out their blog. I can tell you I spent about a year mulling over their information before officially joining. 

>>Sign up for a membership here<<

Check out the Faster Way Shop here! 

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Why I Love Faster Way to Fat Loss

June 28, 2021

You might have seen me posting about Faster Way (FW for short) on Instagram lately. 

I dove head first back into the program back in February after a really tough year. 

Between our move and getting into an awful funk, I was at my wits end. Add a pandemic on top of that and my waistband was at its wits end too. School started back up in August and we were allowed to wear jeans every day... perfect. 

I had one pair that fit and were remotely work appropriate. 

After wearing that one pair of pants for an entire semester the dress code at work changed again and I needed to wear real teacher pants. Big bummer folks. 

I had nothing, literally nothing that fit me and allowed me to still breathe while teaching. 

May 2020 vs May 2021

But let me back track a bit... 

I started Faster Way back in 2018 when I was trying to get pregnant with Elliot. I had been on Keto with the promise that it would increase fertility and I was still trucking along, not pregnant. I honestly needed a more balanced approach to nutrition and workouts. Somehow Amanda Tress came across my Instagram and I was hooked. 

She showed results, a positive approach to health, and was pregnant while doing all of this (her third child at the time).  She kept touting progress over perfection, and I have come to know she means this whole heartedly. 

I started half for the need to get in better shape and give up the Keto, and half hoping I would get pregnant easily after balancing my macro intake and thus the old hormones. 

At the time I couldn't afford to join the new client round, but was hoping to be pregnant soon anyway, so I joined her pregnancy program. Turns out I was already pregnant when I joined. 

Pregnant & Faster Way

My long time blog friends might remember my pregnancy with Harrison. I gained 60lbs, was terribly sick, and had such at blood pressure at the end that I was induced out of fear of preeclampsia. 

Fast forward to my pregnancy with Elliot - and having started FW out of the gate. I still dealt with heartburn, but I don't think I threw up once. I gained 25lbs, my blood pressure was amazing, and my recovery (compared to how horrible it was with Harrison) was incredible. 

I craved fruit salad, versus the ice cream I was dying for with Harrison. I don't even recall the meat aversion I had with Harrison being terrible with Elliot. Granted those first weeks are awful, but I was so much healthier overall with Elliot's pregnancy. 

Postpartum & Beyond

I continued FW throughout my postpartum period and was in great shape, my milk supply was higher than ever, and I felt better with a newborn than I had the first time. 

Everything eventually fell by the wayside when we moved and the stress overtook me. 

But! When I had hit rock bottom when we returned to work, post lockdown, I knew what I had to do. I started trying to Faster Way on my own with what I had from the pregnancy program... but so many updates had been made to the program overall. 

Amanda and her team added video workouts, an amazing app, and weekly menus to the already community based vibe of the program.

So I bit the bullet and joined a New Client Round in Feb of this year (2021). 

My 6 Week Journey

During the course of my 6 weeks I initially struggled with how sore I was. I didn't realize at all that the workouts I was doing before had failed my so much so that getting back into the FW was going to kick my butt. 

I don't say this to deter you. I say this to show you that I started out with 2lb and 5lb weights and was dying! My muscles needed to get back to weightlifting. (heck in high school I could bench press near 90)

Being back in the program full speed, with the video workouts and meal plan, was incredible. Those two additions since 2018 made all the difference for me. The short/concise workouts with meal plans (that I pick and choose and add my own items from) helped me not only get in better shape and health, but it helped me when I was in a massive food rut and couldn't bother to come up with an idea for lunch. 

Anyone still reading? I know... this is long today. 

I ended the 6 week program with 11 inches lost overall, the majority from my midsection. 

I haven't measured again this summer, but at the end of May I was up to 14 inches overall. 

But Emily! What about weight? 

If I told you I haven't had some massive weight drop... would you believe me? 

I realize I'm not super overweight right now, I was holding fat instead of muscle and honestly it seems that the muscle built kind of replaced the fat weight on the scale. 

I started at 143 and as of last week weighed 137. 

Nothing big right? 

But my measurements say something different. My clothing says something different. Heck I've even had people notice. 

The scale is a liar. Ignore it. 

I've still got some progress to make, in June of 2019 I was at 130. It's not much, and it won't happen tomorrow... but it'll happen eventually. 

Especially with a program that encourages memories over macros. Progress over perfection. And non-scale victories. 

I'm not moving at the speed of sound with some program I can't maintain in the long run, I'm not making meals the family refuses to eat. Heck, I even kept our Chicken Nugget & French Fry Wednesday night meal on board and work my macros around it. It's not about deprivation, I eat more on Faster Way (calorie wise) than I ever ate before FW. I also give myself more grace and don't feel guilty about having fun. 

I'll wrap this up with an example - today is a low carb day. I'm not breaking my fast until lunch and I got in a HIIT workout first thing this morning. But we are headed with friends to Peach Park to eat lunch, play, and buy some fresh product... there might even be peach hand pies and ice cream involved. Instead of guilt and not eating like I would in the past - I'm going to enjoy lunch and then come home and cook my healthy dinner I planned before this adventure was on the books. 

You can still enjoy life and get your health in check at the same time friends. 

I'll drop a few more links for the curious - 

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How to Fully Prepare for an Outdoor Wedding

June 25, 2021

For many women, their wedding day is an event they’ve dreamed about since they first gazed, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, as their favourite Disney princess overcame all the odds to find herself being enchanted by her Prince. It stands to reason, then, that your wedding day is possibly one of the most anticipated days you’ll ever set your sights on, a day that you’ll hopefully look back on with joy and cherish forever.  

Photo by Carlo Buttinoni on Unsplash

So, it makes sense that when you’ve had your perfect proposal from your perfect partner and have spent months – maybe even years – planning your big day, you want nothing more than to make sure you’ve considered every little detail to the nth degree; that you want to make sure everything goes ahead without a hitch so you can allow yourself to be entirely swept up in the wonder of your nuptials alongside your partner and loved ones.

If you’ve got your heart set on an outdoor wedding, regardless of whether you’re considering a beach, woodland, field, or back garden as your venue, there are a number of things to consider when the planning process gets underway – the first of which is setting a realistic budget and discussing with your future spouse what you envision the day looking like. 

Back to Basics

It’s easy to get carried away with the plans bustling about in your head, with yourself and your partner excitedly sharing ideas and dreaming up extravagant ideas, but, when planning an outdoor wedding, remembering to factor in the very basics – such as electricity supply, lighting, and toilets – is vital.

The most important of these elements is the supply of electricity and lighting, as there isn’t much that can occur without it! If you’re in a back garden or in the outdoor space of a large indoor venue, then you can easily obtain cables to connect to the site’s already-existing electricity. However, if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, you need to shop around to find an electricity generator that you can hook up your various electrical items to, including the sound system, the bar/food chillers, lights, any outdoor heating you’ve provided, etc. 

In terms of lighting, browse through online electrical wholesalers to see the range of festoon lighting available or look into waterproof fairy lights. Toilets can be sourced for hire from various suppliers, with choices ranging from separate male/female toilet units with sinks provided to your basic Portaloo – the choice is yours (and depends on your budget). 

Think BIG

Whilst we’d all love the ability to predict and control the weather, we are, alas, not gifted in that respect and haven’t the capacity to deduce exactly what the weather will be like. This means you need to plan for all eventualities effectively.

Of course, a beautifully sunny, warm day would be perfect, but you would do well to consider the installation of a gazebo, marquee, or tipi to house your guests and protect them from the weather. Alternatively, if you’re planning your wedding in the grounds of a particular venue, you can always schedule certain elements to occur inside or ask the venue to hold a space inside for you to have on hand should the weather suddenly turn! 

The Comfort of Guests

Outdoor weddings often rail against the traditions that many older relatives and guests will have experienced in their lives, and for this reason, can cause them some discomfort. In order to win them over (and keep the rest of your guests happy!), it would be prudent to consider their potential wants and needs to ensure their comfort. This can include providing blankets and cushions, umbrellas, the option of tea and coffee available, and things such as flip-flops! 

Once you’ve ironed out the basics of your outdoor wedding, the rest will simply flow and you can enjoy the rest of your planning process and look forward to your wedding day with pleasure.

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Three Important Considerations For Your Big Day

June 17, 2021

Your wedding day can truly be the happiest day of your life. It is a momentous occasion that you will think about forever and it will surely be one of your favorite memories.

Amid all the excitement, it can be hard to keep track of all of the important considerations for your big day. If you forget to complete a task or organize an essential part of the day, then you may be left feeling very frustrated and disappointed.

The following three points will help to remind you of the aspects of your wedding that deserve your full attention!

1. Wedding Photography

Your wedding photos are one of the key components of your special day. You will want to make sure that your photographer is going to do a perfect job and that you will have amazing photos to keep for the rest of your life.

You can achieve this by hiring a professional who you can trust to create the wedding photo album of your dreams. 

When you are thinking about your wedding photography, you might also want to consider hiring a boudoir photographer.

Boudoir photography is a more intimate way to create memories from the very beginning of your marriage. These photos will feature you in bedroom attire and can be as revealing as you want; it will be a unique and tasteful way to express yourself and celebrate your body.

You may wish to do a boudoir photo session by yourself as a fantastic surprise gift for your future spouse.

2. The Venue

The location of your wedding can make all the difference to how much you enjoy the day itself. 

Choosing a location that will not be difficult for your guests to get to is a must if you want everyone to attend. Getting married in a foreign country sounds exciting but doing so may exclude some of your friends and family from being able to come along. You might find it more enjoyable to do the wedding closer to home and then embark upon an exotic honeymoon afterwards.   

Additionally, you will want to choose a venue that is both beautiful and functional. Make sure there is enough space for all of your guests to enjoy the day comfortably and that the facilities are of the highest standard.

You will also want to confirm what is and is not included when you host your wedding at the venue of your choice. Explore different price packages to find the best fit for your requirements.

3. The Weather

It is obviously not the most exciting aspect of your wedding day, but it is unfortunately important. If you do not plan ahead by checking what the weather is going to be like, then you are risking a possible disaster.

If you have planned an outdoor wedding ceremony on a rainy day, then you are not going to have a good time!

Similarly, if you are going to be inside all day and it is going to be a very hot day, then you may find that you and your guests become uncomfortable. 

Hopefully you will be able to follow all of this advice and have the wedding of your dreams!

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I Do (Want to Travel): Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding

June 15, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic is starting to ease and travel weddings are back on the table. The travel wedding industry is larger than many people realize. In a single year, travel weddings are a $16 billion industry.
This should come as no surprise given the many benefits of a travel wedding. Who doesn’t want to get married on a beach in the Caribbean?

At the same time, there are some negatives to a wedding so far from home. Read on to learn the pros and cons of a destination wedding. Explore topics such as destination wedding ideas and locations.

What Are the Positives?

Perhaps the most significant advantage of a travel wedding is the flexibility. You are no longer confined to wedding sites that are within driving distance. You can go anywhere in the world for your special day.

The number of destination wedding locations is endless. Many people choose to go to the Caribbean for a beach wedding. Others fly to Hawaii for a tropical wedding in the Pacific.

Winter or mountainous locations are also trendy. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of snow-capped mountains. Your guests can ski or snowboard after the festivities.

Another benefit of a travel wedding is the party size. Naturally, fewer people attend the wedding. Many people cannot get off of work or find child care arrangements.

The end result for the married couple is a small wedding. This is intimate and special as the bride and groom are surrounded by only the closest family and friends.

Lastly, a travel wedding combines the ceremony and the honeymoon into one event. Now, you do not have to travel after the wedding.

Instead, you can start enjoying your location immediately after the wedding. Many people enjoy this part of a travel wedding as it eliminates airport stress.

What Are the Negatives?

There are a few negatives to hosting a travel wedding. Perhaps the most impactful is the guest list. Your best friend or favorite relative may not be able to make it.

Another disadvantage is the unpredictability of a travel wedding. It is difficult to plan when you are thousands of miles away. You cannot control factors like weather and issues with customs.

Unlike a local wedding, you cannot stop by for a food sampling or inspect the centerpieces. The good news is that travel wedding resorts are professionals and typically do a great job.

Depending on where you go, there may be a language barrier. You may experience difficulty explaining what you want to the staff.

Lastly, travel weddings pass a significant cost burden onto guests. Instead of a wedding gift, they are now paying thousands for flights and resort accommodations.

Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding

A travel wedding is great for couples who are laid back. They do not care about every little detail and want to share their honeymoon location with family and friends.

There are some downsides related to planning and weather. However, these cons are not too much to overcome.

If you enjoyed this article about pros and cons of a destination wedding, check out our blog for more great content.  

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A Guide to Aging Gracefully

June 14, 2021

The realization that you are not as young as you once were can be a devastating one. You might have recently discovered your first few grey hairs, for instance, or lines around your eyes that won’t go away no matter how much sleep you have got the night before. Perhaps you find yourself aching more than usual. This horror may send you into a panic and booking Botox treatments and a facelift consultation. However, there are ways in which you can age gracefully and naturally and still look great. 

Haircut and color

Grey hair no longer holds the same stigma of being for elderly people who are ‘past it’. There are now many stunning older women who have embraced their silvery locks; indeed, many younger people are choosing to dye their hair grey as well. Furthermore, switching up your hairstyle to suit your face can dramatically upgrade your appearance, especially if you are still wearing the same hairstyle you had in your twenties. Whether you decide to let your hair go grey naturally or feel more confident in dying your hair, a good hairdresser will work with you to create a cut and color that will make you look and feel at your very best. 

Dental care

Taking good care of your teeth is important at any age, but as your teeth sustain more wear and tear over time, it is important that you take extra special care as you grow older. Brush using fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your enamel and take care not to overbrush, as this can lead to receding gums. Visit your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis for a check-up and deep clean. You may even decide to have cosmetic dental treatment to improve your smile, such as tooth whitening treatments or veneers. Visit bafdentistry.com for more information on dental treatments.


As you age, changes in the texture of your skin and your overall coloring can mean that the makeup looks that made you look and feel beautiful in your twenties and thirties are now too harsh on you in your forties, fifties, and beyond. Glitter eyeshadow, for instance, can settle in wrinkles and therefore emphasize that which you would rather avoid. Book a makeup masterclass, or visit a makeup counter in your favorite department store to learn the products and techniques that will best show off your features and make you feel beautiful and confident, whatever your age. 


Regular exercise is important at any age to ensure that you maintain a high level of fitness.
However, as you grow older, you might like to rethink your workout routine to incorporate low-intensity exercises that are gentler on aging joints. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise you can get as although it provides you with a full-body workout, the water cushions your joints, reducing the risk of injuries. Likewise, low-intensity workouts like Pilates and yoga help to increase your balance and flexibility while improving your strength and muscle tone. 

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Camping at Unicoi State Park || Helen, GA

June 9, 2021

This year we headed over to Georgia for our camping week! 

We stayed right outside of Helen at the Unicoi State Park - this is a wonderful park and I'll show you the campsite later on. 

How ya like that camping nap? Don't even ask me how long it took me to get him to lay down and quit fussing. 

We headed into Helen on one of our days, and I'll go ahead and warn y'all... post Covid has his this city. Many businesses aren't open or are closing earlier than they are supposed to due to staffing. One particular restaurant had a 40 minute wait just because they were understaffed. 

Fine and dandy on your own, but with kids I am not doing a long wait. 

The next day we hit up the Cattahoochee National Forest for an easy breezy hike to Anna Ruby Falls. 

This trail is completely paved and people of all ages were there, just be warned that it's kind of on the side of a mountain and the drop from the trail is steep... too steep for a stubborn toddler who wanted to jump to his death. 

Beautiful but nerve-wracking.

There aren't any photos to prove it, but after hiking we ate lunch and headed over to go tubbing down the Chattahoochee River with the kids. Harrison thought it was great - Elliot (as seen below) hated us for this one! 

It was fun, but as a warning for small kids - it was a lot more rough and had several rapids than we expected. I saw a man get tipped out of his tube and struggle to get on his feet and find his tube again. The water was 58 degree and it was 70 degrees outside. The temps weren't painful (the kids tubes had bottoms) but you don't want to be fully submerged in this... and it was moving quite fast in areas. 

On our last full day there we rode out to Cleveland to see Babyland - the Cabbage Patch Kids headquarters. It was interesting to say the least! One cool thing though was that they had several original hand-sewn dolls as well as Andy Warhol painting of the dolls. 

You haven't lived until you've watched a "live birth" from this baby tree. 

After Babyland we drove out to Dahlonega and took the kids to a real gold mine. While there we got to tour the abandoned mine and try out panning for gold ourselves. The name of the gold mine is Consolidated Gold Mine if you are ever wanting to go. 

Theme of this trip - Elliot is not amused with out antics. He really just wants to piddle around the campsite and not see someone operate a 130 year old gold mining jackhammer at 200 feet below ground. 

Now for our the campsite was laid out... 

I brought back out my kitchen tent area. The picnic table was originally off in a strange area so we moved it to where you can see it here. On a tent only site you'd see the table placed better, but this was an RV spot and the tables can be anywhere to accommodate the side of the RV that extends out. 

Now the ice chest is out now, but due to being in a heavy black bear area... this all lived in the trunk while we were sleeping. Like we saw several and one was spotted near us. 

Here's a camping hack for you - I only take a griddle and coffee pot, but we needed to heat up some bbq pork on this trip. Three layers of tin foil shaped into a boil and I had an easy way to heat up the meat without a big bbq mess on my griddle! 

It was a little odd that the RV site didn't have a tent pad. They had a tent specific area, but I wasn't going with it as it was "pack in" area and the bathrooms were a touch of a walk - no bueno. I really wish parks would realize that the tent need the accommodations and the RVs can be more remote. I mean heck most have bathrooms in them, it's all of us tent sleepers that are walking past critters at 2am to potty. 

All that to say, we tossed the tent on a spot that was slightly smaller than our tent but allowed us to stake down on three sides. We probably only lost a few inches all around doing this. On the upside - all the concrete meant that the tent wasn't as dirty when we packed up. 

Last up - the peanut stand close to the camp sells firewood at a good price. There are several different fire ring options, but all of them have the grill rack. If you get a site and have small kids shoot to get on the Big Loop (it's big bend or big creek, I can't remember) it's closest to the creek and playground. 

Well that's a wrap on another week long camping trip! Man I wish we could get out more often, I swear I sleep better in the tent! 

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June Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box || Garden

June 1, 2021

 Another month, another Simply Earth Subscription Box in my mailbox! (and it can be in yours as well if you snatch it up quick!) 

This month's theme is Garden! The box is said to be inspired by the idea of a summer evening spent in the garden. (the theme was chosen by fellow subscribers) 

Let's talk about my favorite part, as always - the oils. 

This month you're getting:: 

Good Vibes (blend) - supports natural hormone production
Lemongrass (single) - calms, warms, cleans
Citronella (single) - calms, repels insects
Mandarin (single) - uplifts, calms, soothes

The extras are a 2 oz spray bottle, floating candle wicks, dried peppermint leaves, and paper board lip balm tubes. 

The recipes this month include a peppermint infused oil, a Bug Off Roll-On, a recipe to make a citronella candle with those floating wicks, lip balm, garden spray, and a diffuser blend. 

Let's walk through what I've made so far this month. 

First up is the lip balm, I wanted to rush it so I haven't made the peppermint oil yet. Instead I used peppermint essential oil from a previous month's box. 

I was curious about the paper tube for lip balm, but I'm actually loving it. This balm is light and refreshing and feels great on your lips. 

Let's not even act like the diffuser blend wasn't next on my list to make - I love a diffuser blend. 

Mainly because I love candles but my allergies don't allow for much. Essential oils though, send them all on because I haven't met one that I can't diffuse. 

This blend combines your Good Vibes blend with Mandarin and Lemongrass. It smells likes summer, that's all I can say. In the most not coconut or sunscreen at all kind of way. Just clean, outdoors but not entirely, and light. 

Last but not least on what I've made so far, Garden Spray. Let's fight the good fight and repel the buggies! I mixed this up and sprayed it all over my lavender, mint, thyme, and basil. 

Unlike what I have treated my garden with in the past, this smells good and you don't feel like you're going to die if you smell it or even get it on your skin! I would love to test it out on a veggie garden (I'm just sticking to herbs this season) to see how well it really repels. 

As always, Simply Earth donates 13% to end Human Trafficking. This month 13% of profits are going to the organization Win This Fight who raises money for organizations that are on the frontlines. 

As always head over to Simply Earth to order your JUNE box and use the code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 giftcard/credit towards your next order when you get your Bonus Box! 

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