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 😊

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Fat Burning Foods

When I say “fat burning foods” I mean exactly that! The foods listed below have low caloriesburn fat, & boost your metabolism! What more could you want, amirite? I incorporate at least a couple of these in my every day diet and sometimes more! You can eat them however you’d like as long as you are getting them in some way, you are on the right track. Here are my favs: 
Avocados // these look high in calorie & fat, but its actually good calories & fat! I will either eat this by itself for a snack, throw on a piece of toast for breakfast, put in a salad, or add as a side to a meal. *I only eat half of it.
x Apples // Apples are a low caloriemetabolism boosting & fat burning machine! They are great for a snack, on a salad, mixed with tuna salad, dipped in peanut butter, or just as a side to any meal.
Greek Yogurt // all time FAV. these are low in calorie, high in protein, & delicious! I eat these for snack literally every day. A few of my personal favorite brands are Chobani, Dannon Lite & Fit, & the H-E-B brand. 
Almonds // This little snack will get me through any hangry stage! The best part about them is the serving size... 28! Almonds are high in protein, help with weight management, and are a metabolism booster! Blue Diamond is my fav brand. I love love love their siracha, honey roasted, habanero BBQ, & lightly salted almonds. 
Oatmeal // This is one of the best things for a flat belly! It is a great weight loss food because it makes you feel full & is packed with nutrients. I eat this for snack or breakfast several times a week. Some oatmeals can be really high in sugar so look at the nutrition label to see what you’re getting. I love the Quaker Oats low-sugar, maple flavor. Stay tuned for a later post in how to make over night oats.
Berries // Lets start with blueberries. They are low calorie & super high in antioxidants! They literally burn the fat away and are so tasty. I get about 2 or 3 pints at the store a week to eat for snack or as a side to any meal. Raspberries are another go to berry. They have low calories & high fiber. Eating these are a must!
Spinach // This is one of the most nutritional greens on this Earth. It is packed with antioxidants & powerful nutrients that will help you to get healthy. I try to eat spinach several times a week either in my omelettes, in a salad, in a smoothie, or in a wrap. Most salads that restaurants offer are an ice burg lettuce base. It has NO nutritional value at all and the ranch that we all love to put on top is even worse! A lot of places are starting to become more health conscious, so look for the spinach or kale salad! They will do the most good for you.
Egg Whites // I love egg whites for many reasons. They are low calorie, contain high proteinboost your metabolism, & help burn fat! One egg white is around 17 calories compared to an egg with the yolk at around 70 calories. I eat them several different ways including scrambled, omelette style, or with avocado toast! I’ll touch on how I make them in a later post.
Pomegranate Seeds // these little guys are the best! They are nutritious and help you feel fuller! I eat these as a snack or throw onto a salad. You can eat 1/2 cup for only 70 calories!  
x These are just a few of my personal favs but there is so much more out there! Pinterest is a game changer for any food ideas, so do a little research and find your favorites!

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Main Tips to Getting FIT

WILL POWER // this is something we all struggle with. It is a mind game that you have to win. You CAN & WILL do this! Your biggest enemy is yourself in this fight. Overcoming this obstacle can be one of the most rewarding challenges! 
DRINK WATER // a healthy amount of water for everyone is HALF your body weight in OZ. Your body needs water to become a healthier you, period. It flushes out all of the toxins & everything bad. So if you’re not a “water person” become one! Try squeezing a lemon or adding fruit into it, so it’s not so “plain” tasting. Water is one of the main keys for weight loss & your organs need it to stay healthy.
DRINK GREEN TEA & COFFEE // Additional to water, a cup of green & coffee (plain) every day, can be so beneficial to your health. Green tea is so rich in antioxidants & powerful nutrients that your body needs. It boosts your metabolism, has zero cals, & burns fat. Coffee, also boosts your metabolism, has near zero cals, & burns fat. Learn to drink it plain. When you add creamer & sugar to your cup of joe, it is not doing near what it could be for your body. You are essentially adding fat, sugar, & overall more cals. These things don’t aid in weight loss, unfortunately. Now don’t get me wrong, I occasionally love a splash of the all to well known coffee mate creamers. Ya know, the ones that include girl scout cookies & my personal fav, Pumpkin Spice. However, these are not good for you at all. Try it plain, or add a little stevia & skim milk if you absolutely have to. Bottom line, plain is the best medicine.
x  BREAKFAST// If you aren’t a “breakfast person” become one. We’ve all heard it, it is the most important meal of the day and I can’t stress that enough! Breakfast is what starts your metabolism first thing in the morning. In order to lose weight, you have to get your metabolism up to speed.
FAT BURNING FOODS // When they say “fat burning foods” they aren’t lying. I incorporate some of these fat burning foods in my every day routine and I have watched the fat literally burn away. These types of foods include apples, berries, avocados, oatmeal, greek yogurt and almonds, just to name a few of my favs.  I’ll touch more on these in a later post! 
1200 CALS // I strive to maintain a 1200 calorie a day diet and no more than 1500. Counting calories has 100% been the key to losing weight for me personally. I have an app called MyPlate, and it lets you put in everything you had in a day including breakfast, lunch, dinner, & snacks. It even has an option to track your water intake and exerciseThe exercise part will actually subtract the calories burned from your total calories consumed and give you your net calories for the day so you know where you stand. Create your own calorie goal for each day based off how active or inactive you are! It has been said that a woman who is trying to lose weight should consume no more than 1500 cals per day while working out on top of that.
MODERATION // Moderation is literally key to staying healthy & losing weight! Don’t get me wrong, I still go out to eat and have during my entire weight loss journey. The key is to either order a healthy meal or if you don’t, eat it in moderation & use portion control. Try not to eat the rolls or just have one if you mustTry to eat a few chips instead of a whole basket or two. This goes back to will power. Try to leave at least half your entree on your plate and take the rest home. This is moderation. If you go to Whataburger, try ordering a kids meal. I know… it’s a tough concept but stick with me! For example, my fav thing to order from there is the #13 whatachick’n strips. It comes with texas toast, 3 chicken strips, fries, and your choice of dipping sauce. It’s also 1300 cals if you eat the whole meal, not including the sweet tea or coke you order to wash it down with. OMG right??? So, I order the whatachick’n strips kids meal insteadThe difference is insane. The kids meal comes with two chicken strips, fries, and dipping sauce. It is 590 cals compared to 1300. That is less than HALF the cals. I usually top it off with an unsweet tea. You are still getting your whataburger fill, but with way less fried food and cals. Now don’t get me wrong… Sometimes I get the regular meal because we all have those days. But it is very rare for me to do that now, knowing how many cals are going into my body. So my advice, try the kids meal! Tip: Don’t be afraid to look up the restaurants nutrition menu! Most all chains have them.
6 SMALL MEALS // Eating 5 or 6 small meals a day can boost your metabolism by a long shot. I usually eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. My metabolism used to be slow but now it’s like clock work. I’m usually hungry every 3 hours. I’ve said it before but your metabolism speed is what helps you lose weight. If your metabolism is slow, you will probably find that you have a hard time losing weight and may even begin to gain it. Doing things to help boost your metabolism is key.   
WORKOUTS // Working out is something that everyone struggles with. You say you don’t have timeyou don’t know how to, or you just don’t want to. My advice to you is start small and don’t have unrealistic expectations. When people struggle with their weight they tend to have unrealistic expectations about how it is going to happen. Just because you ate healthy one day and worked out, does not mean you will lose any weight by the next day. I know it can be discouraging. I’ve been there. The key is going 2-3 times a week and working up to more. When it comes to what kind of workouts you do during those times, make them count. For instance, cardio is a calorie burner. Lifting weights is good for toning, but it will not help you drop the weight that you want to. I get on the treadmill at an incline of 15 and walk at 3.5 mph for an hour. This burns over 600 cals. Trust me, it is not as hard as it seems, but I also didn’t start there. I started at only 3 mph and went for 30 minutes while at 15 incline. It burns so many calories and the best part is you don’t even have to run! My other fav machine is the elliptical. I started at 10 incline with 6 resistance for 30 minutes and would usually burn around 300 cals. Now, I do the programmed fat burner workout which lasts 60 minutes and burns over 600 cals. Workouts like incline walking and the elliptical helped me lose 40 pounds. I know staying on a machine for that long can be boring. But I’ve learned that a great playlist or a netflix show I’m binging on can get me through it! Cardio along with Pinterest inspired toning workouts have got me to where I am today. Stay tuned for a later post that will go in depth on my weekly workouts. 
SMALL CHANGES // Small changes add up to big changes. Take pics of yourself & every couple of weeks compare them. You will notice small changes and it will only give you more motivation! There is an app called Photo Vault that locks with a password if you don’t want anyone seeing them. Don’t get discouraged because you aren’t seeing the results right away. For me personally, I bought a scale. Seeing the pounds drop every week was what kept me going. It also kept me on track. Sometimes I would see that I went up on the scale after a week of not doing so good. That would fuel my fire to fix it and do better! Remember though, weight doesn’t always show your body becoming healthier. Get a measuring tape to see how many inches you are losing everywhere. Don’t give up!
Thanks for reading along and stay tuned for more helpful tips!
Please feel free to make suggestions or ask questions!