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) 😍 
~butternut squash 
~brussel sprouts 
~bolthouse farms Creamy Caesar dressing 
 ~sliced chicken 
~pomegranate seeds by POM 
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!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2017 is off to a great start!

Here is my 40 pound mark. I could not be happier about my total body transformation from the picture below this one. Life happens. I am striving to better myself every single day.

These two pictures were actually taken the Summer of 2014, the year I began my journey. I had lost about 5-7 pounds by this time. Pictures were not my favorite but when I took these I was already feeling more motivated than before! 

These pictures motivate me every day!

Monday, February 20, 2017

About Me

Welcome to Happy Healthy Soul! Whether you are here for a reason or sheer happenstance, I hope everyone can take away something life changing from this blog. I am a 22 year old girl determined to better myself mind, body, and soul each and everyday. Through my weight loss and fitness journey, I have lost 40 pounds and have never felt more amazing. I am stronger mentally and physically, and more determined than ever before. My goal for my blog is to reach as many people as possible and help them understand that they can do it too! Even if you are happy with where you stand physically, I will be sharing everything from clean eating recipes, to workouts, to motivation, and much more that I believe everyone from all walks of life can benefit from! Everything I have done to lose weight has been through moderation. I still went out to eat, had drinks with friends, and didn't always workout. Through learning moderation, I have been able to make amazing changes. I want to share all of my tips with you in hopes to give you the motivation to make this life changing decision just like I did. I have been on this journey for three years now but if I knew then what I know now, it wouldn't have taken me this long. I'm excited to hopefully be a small influence in helping you make a big decision!
Now that you know what you will getting from my blog, (lets hope I didn't scare you away) I would love to share a little of the behind story of my fitness journey. All of my life I was heavily involved in sports. Through my youth I was involved in gymnastics, competitive cheerleading, and soccer. After that I began my intense journey through the sport of volleyball. To say volleyball was my life through high school is an understatement. Growing up playing volleyball for a 5A Texas team was intense. We played year round literally fall, spring, and summer. These were some of the best years of my life and I am so thankful for the experience. Because I was always in sports, I maintained a healthy diet. I stayed fit because I worked out and ate healthy. Lets just say that I didn't know what was coming the day I stopped playing volleyball. 
Life after that was just different.. I had so much free time and with that came decisions that were not the best health wise. I began to gain weight senior year after volleyball. 10 pounds to be exact. When I got to college, I didn't stop there. Being a freshman in college was a whole new world to me and healthy decisions were not a priority. I got so involved at my school and stayed busy, so taking care of my health was the last thing on my mind. I knew I was beginning to gain weight but wasn't realizing just how much. From the beginning of my freshman year to the end of my first semester of sophomore year, (about a year and a half) I put on 20 pounds. I was up a total of 30 pounds without realizing it until a girl friend and I began a work out class where I stepped on the scale. I could not believe my eyes, I was so embarrassed. I had never weighed that much before and I had never felt more defeated. I told myself "this is it, you have got to do something Ashton". So, in January 2014, I began my long journey. At first, I wasn't seeing results and that was so discouraging. But I told myself I have to do this and I have to turn my life back around, so I stuck with it. By April of that year, people were starting to notice and I began getting compliments everywhere I went. At the end of the year I had lost about 15 pounds, but even more inches around my body. In 2015, I wasn't stopping. It felt so good to be getting back on track that I became passionate about it. By spring break, I was 5 more pounds down at a total loss of 20 pounds. I felt so great in that bikini on the beach over spring break! I lost about 10 more pounds over that year. At this point at the end of 2015, I was back to my normal high school size. In 2016, I decided to go the extra mile and commit myself to a healthy lifestyle. I lost 10 more pounds over the course of that year. I have never felt better in my life. 40 pounds down will give you new highs you didn't think were possible. Now I am on a whole new level of determination. Although I am so happy with myself, taking care of my body has become the anthem of my life. I have a whole new outlook on life and so will you!
Thank you for reading along and I hope you will stick with me. There will be ups and downs but the journey is so worth it!