Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cardio Counts

I know the topic of cardio is something that a lot of you dread. I myself dread it some days. BUT, to give it some serious credit and recognition, it helped me get to where I am today. Cardio counts and for a lot. No, I did not run five miles 7 days a week to lose weight. LOL, trust me on that. Most of the time I walked, yes walked! Just one teeny little detail... I put it at a high incline. Don’t let this stop you from reading because it gets good... When I first started doing incline walking I started at a 15 incline, walking at 3 mph, for 45 minutes. I know this sounds like a lot of work, dreadful, too hard, too much, too boring, but I am here to tell you that it is totally doable. First, you may say you “get too bored walking for that long". I hear ya, it can be very boring. But, a way to counteract this is to get your fav netflix show on your iPhone and walk on my friend. This helped me stay walking for all that time and actually made it go way faster. I usually hold on top of the machine or luckily, the new machines at my gym now have handles on the side. To challenge myself more, I would let go every so often and try to walk without holding on. Let me just say, incline walking burns sooo many cals that you won’t believe the number on the machine. It’s awesomeness. If you don't think you can walk at a 15 incline then shoot for 10 or even 8. Any level of incline will help burn more calories than walking flat. The more you do this the less of a challenge it becomes because your body builds up to it and needs something more. Now I try to run 10 minutes, walk at an incline for another 10 minutes, and then run for another 10 minutes. I switch it up time to time to make it different and not so monotonous. Most importantly, I do it to challenge myself and focus on my fitness gain. Bottom line, cardio is the beez neez, the GOAT, when it comes to burning calories and burning fat. Just weight lifting and no cardio won't help you get that flat belly... it's clean eating and cardio that will do it every time. So next time you're at the gym, don't forget about the treadmill! It needs some love too!
Happy Friday Jr. peeps!!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Detox Smoothie

Soooo today is Monday and I was most definitely feeling the weekend this morning. For my mid afternoon snack today I decided to make a smoothie. There is something about a smoothie that just makes you feel healthy when it's much needed. It also gets me in the mood for summer which is just right around the corner. YAY! I am so ready for lake days where I'm soaking up the rays with family and friends, sunnies on and feeling like I have no cares in the world. Some might say, minus the bikini part. I definitely hear ya on that one. We have all been there and some days I still feel blah but that's just our minds picking out our flaws. Everyone has flaws including the skinniest fittest girl at the pool or the most jacked guy at the gym. Embrace your flaws because you will always have them (easier said than done I know) but also let it be motivation to try and get that flat stomach, thigh gap, toned arms or whatever it may be that you've been wanting! I've talked about it before but there are a few antioxidants that I SWEAR by and try to eat/drink every single day... blueberries & green tea. These two powerful antioxidants will help burn away annoying belly fat if you use them religiously! Luckily, I found a smoothie on Pinterest that incorporated both. I changed up the recipe but it's sooo tasty! It has a total of 230 calories which is not bad at all and will help you reach your 6 meal a day goal. Plus it's super healthy! I would most definitely recommend giving it a try.

1 cup frozen blueberries 
1 green tea bag 
1/2 cup almond milk or skim milk
1/2 banana 
1 Tbsp honey 

Drop it in the blender and viola


Have a great week y'all!

Much love,
Ashton

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Weekend Blues

I don't know about you, but I have the weekend bluessss *ok sang that to t-swifts song 22 just then* But seriously, the last few weekends have been great! They have been full of soaking up the sun by the lake, friends, puppies, shopping, home, family, drinks, & food. I live for the weekends if we are being honest 🙈 My Monday-Thursday is spent working, doing school work, working out, doing chores, grocery shopping, cooking meals, and everything in between! I usually take the weekends to just enjoy myself, hang out with friends, travel, and find good food. The food part however isn't always the healthiest... Last weekend included but was not limited to green beer (because St. Pattys day), pizza, queso and tacos (not the healthy kind, the kind from taco casa piled with tons of cheese). Through my weight loss journey, I have eaten several "unhealthy meals" and still went out with friends. What I learned was that if I took things in moderation, it wouldn't kill my diet. If you don't give yourself a few cheat meals throughout the week, your mind will never be fully committed to this journey. With that being said, when I ate pizza I had 2 slices and when I ate the tacos I had 2 tacos. I didn't go overboard and eat 3-4 slices of pizza (although I prob could) or eat 3 tacos. The idea is to give yourself these cheat meals but not to over indulge. When you binge eat all weekend, that is not a cheat meal and you are likely to gain back some weight. Try not to eat your days worth of calories in one meal. Although we have all been there, the idea is to grasp the concept that you can still get healthy by giving yourself a few days of eating things that are not so healthy. This allows you to keep your mind focused on bettering yourself and your fitness. After a weekend like these last few, I am so motivated on Monday. I crave eating healthy and a good workout. The idea is to get to this place where you don't want unhealthy food every single day and that after a fun weekend you want to "fix" your habits back to what they were during the week. You can 100% fix what you did over the weekend you just have to eat things that will do this for you. I used to have this mentality where I would say "Oh well I just ruined my diet for the whole week so I'll start next week". This was not good because I would continue to eat unhealthy for the rest of the week and then try to start again the next Monday. It wasn't until I realized that you can literally fix the damage you did the day before by simply eating healthy. Waiting is only going to prolong your weight loss and fitness journey. Getting it in your mind that you will start the day after an unhealthy weekend is how you will progress and get results! 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Move That Butt

Today I had zero time to go to the gym. I worked, ran errands, did tons of homework and made my 30 minute commute back home. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this crazy life we all live, we have a duty to ourselves to take care of our bodies. You may say you had zero time to go to the gym but chances are you have time at some point in the day to move that butt. If you can’t make it to the gym, hit up your local park, neighborhood, or even stay right at your house and workout. PAUSE. I am not perfect either and I am totally guilty of skipping workouts and sometimes just plain lazy. My point I am trying to get across is that in order to lose weight and be healthy, you have to get your mind in the right place. Last Friday I was off work so instead of netflix and chilling all day, I got a ton of steps in. I turned some music on and started cleaning. Amongst the dancing and singing and cleaning, I lost track of time and was on my feet moving for 3 hours. Now I am not by any means telling you that you have to clean house for 3 hours to lose weight. If that were the case I would’ve given up a long time ago, haha! However, I can say that I’ve gotten my mind, body, and soul to this place that strives to be a better version of myself than the day before. I have gotten to a place where I want to be active and get lots of steps in because I know that even cleaning the house for 3 hours still counts as a workout. If you are having a bad day or stressed out over something, get outside, walk 1 mile, and see how you feel after that. A coworker and I walk 1 mile at work every day at 10 and we do it in 15 minutes. If you can’t do that at your work, maybe you have a staircase? Tell yourself you are going to walk up and down the stairs 4 times because something is better than nothing. I can promise you that I do not workout in a gym doing hard core exercises every single day. Eating clean has helped me achieve success. I get to the gym 3 times a week for a hardcore workout and on the other 4 days of the week I try to accomplish a home workout, a mile walk/run around the neighborhood, or do something that allows me to get a lot of steps in. As long as you are getting steps in, you are pushing your body to a healthier place. Everything counts!

Happy Humpday, we are so close to the weekend!




Monday, March 6, 2017

Find Foods You LOVE

One question I get asked a lot is, "how do you stay motivated?" I started thinking about this and to be honest there are several things that help me stay motivated. There is one thing in particular I truly believe is the key to a healthier lifestyle. Finding healthy foods that you love to eat is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself. If you don’t love the foods you are eating, you will not be as motivated to live a healthier lifestyle. Some of you might be thinking that there isn’t a single healthy food that you love. Well I’m here to tell you that there 100% is, you just have to find it! It takes a little soul searchingfood tastinggarbage throwing action to figure out what you like and don’t like. Most of us do this at restaurants, right? We try something new and either hate it or love it. Finding healthy foods you like will be trial and error. If you aren’t a “veggie person”, I guarantee you have not tried every vegetable at the grocery store ;) The same goes for the “fruit haters”. Try a fruit you never have and who knows you may find one that you can't get enough of. Mine is blueberries, no doubt! I find myself during the day saying “I can’t wait to make roasted brussels sprouts for dinner”, “I can’t wait to eat my greek yogurt and blueberries for snack”, “I can't wait to eat peanut butter and honey on my waffle for breakfast!” Eating healthy can be so delicious that you crave some of these foods every single day. I just discovered Kashi blueberry waffles at the store last week and OMG I ate them for breakfast every. single. day. I seriously could not get enough. I put about 1 TBSP of peanut butter on one waffle and top with a little honey. Besides the fact that these waffles are loaded with whole grains and fiber, each one is only 70 calories, and with toppings mine came out to about 190. It tastes like a waffle from IHOP equal to 700 calories not 70. There are so many healthy foods that I literally crave and it keeps me motivated because I know I'm making small changes that add up to big impacts. I say this a lot because every little thing you do counts whether you think it does or not! 

Have a great week, y'all! 


Here is the link for the Kashi waffles! I promise you will not regret it!






Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Easiest Egg White Omelette 

Egg white omelettes are easily one of my favorite foods! They are low caloriehigh protein, delicious and so easy to make! I start with 2 to 3 eggs, but don’t be afraid to eat more since they are so low calorie. I crack the egg and flip the yolk back and forth between each shell while the white’ falls right into the measuring cup. I promise its so easy!  


At this point I turn the stove on at medium heat and set my pan on it so it can be heating up, making it that much quicker! We like quick! Once the whites are in the measuring cup, take a fork and stir or beat them. There’s really no right way, you just want them good and runny.



The next step is to turn down the heat just a bit, spray your pan down with olive oil and immediately pour the egg white in. It will be yellowish at first but you will see it will quickly start turning white. I wait till it’s good and white before putting in my ingredients and spices as you can see in the picture below!


When it looks like the picture above, take your spatula, place it under the edge of the egg white and begin running a circle around your omelette. This is just making sure the white is good and firm on the bottom and ready to flip! Once it hits that stage, take your spatula, place it in the middle of one side and flip over. 


Let it sit like this on one side for about 30 seconds and flip it to the other side and viola! You just made the perfect egg white omelette. I had a few mishaps before getting it down but the techniques I have listed should help you do it with the first try!

This omelette contains about 120 calories and 15 grams of protein! I used two egg whites, a little shredded cheese, spinach, 2 slices of turkey, and spice for taste! This is an insanely healthy snack, breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Top with salsa, add a side of whole grain toast and avocado, and boom done. I eat this at least one or twice during the week because it’s so easy and healthy!
Each egg white is only about 17 calories and has about 3.5 grams of protein. In comparison, 1 egg with the yolk is 60-70 calories. So you can have 4 egg whites for the same cals as 1 egg with the yolk. Small changes like this help make a big impact!

Devil's Food Bakery Inspired Kale Salad


A few weeks ago I was passing through Denver on the way to Winter Park for a weekend getaway. While we were in Denver we hit up Washington Park & stumbled across the cutest brunch place! I had a kale salad that was to die for. Some doubters might say, “no thanks” but the flavor was so incredible it’s enough to make all the haters say “YUM” 😋 my inspired version turned out better than expected & it took less than 30 minutes to make 🙌🏼
Devil’s Food Bakery: Kale, butternut squash, candied pumpkin seeds, grana padana (cheese), & pomegranate vinaigrette with pom seeds 
My inspired version: Kale, roasted butternut squash & Brussels sprouts, pomegranate seeds, chicken, & Bolthouse Farms Caesar dressing (only 45 cals & SO good) 😍 
 Ingredients: 
~Kale 
~butternut squash 
~brussel sprouts 
~bolthouse farms Creamy Caesar dressing 
 ~sliced chicken 
~pomegranate seeds by POM 
 Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F 
2. Wash & Prepare your butternut squash (cut in cubes) & brussel sprouts (cut in half), put them in a bag with olive oil with salt and pepper, spread them out on baking sheet, & cook until roasted brown (about 20 minutes) 
3. Wash your kale & toss in a bowl with salad dressing 
4. Cook your sliced chicken in a skillet while vegetables are roasting 
 5. Toss in roasted brussel sprouts & butternut squash with the kale 
6. Serve onto plate, top with chicken, & a spoonful of pomegranate seeds 
7. Viola! Enjoy friends. Let me know what you would do differently 😊