Monthly Archives: October 2012

Motivational Monday: Your Personal Victories?

Well good Monday to you my friends. I woke up about a half hour ago. Mike had already left for work and it was still dark out. GROSS. However, sitting here writing this post, I’ve realized that when you wake up in the dark, you get to watch the sunrise. PRETTY.

Yesterday was a very emotionally balanced and content day for me. I had a few personal triumphs and learned some new things about myself. I hope to carry this feeling with me throughout the week. If I can, I know my confidence and happiness will radiate off me and maybe help make someone else’s day. So here’s a list of what I’m happy about:

1. My 5 year old hardy favorite leather belt is officially TOO BIG! I hate scales so I never step on one. I just try to eat and live as healthy as I can and hope that maybe my body will follow. Well it is! I have lost some significant weight since I moved to Peoria and started living right. I’m stoked ๐Ÿ™‚

2. I closed out one of my three credit cards today! YES! I have some major credit card debt and have been plugging away at it since I entered the working world. Today I finally got to see some of the fruits of my labor. 1 down, 2 more to go.

3. On Friday, I got my haircut altered a bit. It was feeling very 90’s soccer mom so I went in and asked for something edgy and fun, but also classy. She gave me a faux hawk! I love it so much and it’s helping me overcome my insecurity of having short hair. Only a really awesome, really fun chick can have a haircut like this so I’m just trying to embrace it. And it’s working!

Anyway, those are my personal victories to carry through the week. What are some of yours?

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Recipe Sunday: Healthy Fried Rice

Hey All. Sorry about the late post but Mike and I have had such a busy and relaxing (awesome combo) kind of day. Earlier this week I tried my own healthy fried rice and it didn’t come out so well. I only post delicious recipes so I retried it last night and it ended up being so good!

Healthy Fried Rice

Ingredients:

brown rice (cooked)

3 or 4 eggs (beaten)

veggies (I used red pepper, spinach, and broccoli)

liquid aminos (the healthy soy sauce, I use Bragg brand)

meat (optional)

little bit of sunflower oil for cooking

Instructions:

^ Saute all the veggies on low heat. If you are using meat, cook with the veggies. When it’s all cooked through, add the beaten eggs. Stir as it cooks to coat everything in egg. When egg is cooked, empty it into a bowl.

^ Add the rice to the empty pan and spray some liquid aminos on there (it has a very salty taste so make sure not to use too much). Just until it has the “fried” brown look. Cook until heated.

Add the veggie/egg/meat and mix it all together. Enjoy!

Ashley life Update: Last week, Mike and I decided that we were starting to settle into a very sedentary life. Unacceptable. So today, our day off together, we went for an awesome pancake breakfast and then to a GIANT antique market about 40 minutes away. We didn’t have long at the market but we saw some really beautiful stuff and I bought a cast iron skillet, yay! I’ve been wanting one for a while because they’re such a healthy, non toxic way to cook and they last forever. Got an 8″ pan for $14 (I’m a great haggler). It was a wonderful day with my man ๐Ÿ™‚

 

I hope your Sunday was as great as mine! If not, tomorrow is a new day, so smile ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Environmental Saturday: Natural Disinfectant

I have realized that I have a series of “life rules” that I strongly believe in and have already accomplished or am working on implementing into my everyday life. Most of them have to do with what I talk about here: health, wealth, and happiness.

Rule #2 (Rule #1 will be explained at a later date) – remove the toxins from your life. I mean this in an literal physical sense as well as an emotional, perceived sense. But today’s lets talk about how to literally start removing toxins from your life.

One incredibly easy and CHEAP way to do this is by clearing out your cleaning supplies. Get rid of the window cleaner, disinfectant, surface cleaner, etc…and replace it with vinegar and water!

 

This natural disinfectant of 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar functions now as my cleaner for every situation. The only thing it can’t do it the bathtub and toilet (I’m working on something for that). It makes house cleaning much faster and simpler but it’s also very cheap. I grabbed a spray bottle at the hardware store and vinegar at the market and, voile! I have enough cleaner to last me at least a year.

Disclaimer: it does smell a little odd but the smell fades almost immediately. If it really bothers you, stick some lemon/orange rinds in the bottle and placate the odor. Yay!

Ashley Life Update: Last night Mike and I had a “family dinner.” What started as a casual invite to a few people on Monday turned into a full on party of 17ish people. I cooked for everyone and we all hung out and ate and drank for several hours before heading out on the town. I let loose for a much needed night and I wake up feeling a little foggy but so happy. I feel like we’re finally starting to make friends!

Anyway, I hope you’re all having relaxing Saturdays. I’m off to a screening at the super market. Time to help more people get healthy!

Smile ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Fabulous Friday: Bargain Beauty

From time to time, I may have to post about some incredible deals I find for lady stuff. Today, I’ll be sharing some sweet knowledge nuggets with you fellow females.

Last month, for my birthday, I really wanted to treat myself to some pamper time. I get a monthly wax of my nether regions (SO much easier than shaving and much less red and bumpy) and thought maybe I could add in a facial or manicure or something equally awesome. I had not yet found a salon in Peoria so I started the search!

Where to look, where to look…I must have checked out 20 salons in a 10 mile radius and couldn’t find anything even close to affordable. Then I remembered how cheap massage schools are and decided to just get a massage, delay the search, and postpone my wax until next month (poor Mike).

As I drove to work, I mulled over my tense shoulders and the forest growing in that pretty triangle between my legs, and I spotted it! A beauty school! I got to work and immediately looked up their price menu. $12 for a wax and $20 for a body salt scrub (wth is that?).

I went in for my appointment later that week and had vague memories of my mom bringing me to these fun places when I was young (man, that woman is full of great ideas!) . The wax was painful as usual but the body salt scrub was incredible. I was in a giant, humongous shower and instead of faucets in the wall, there were 6 of them attached to a long arm that extended over the bed I was laying in. It looked like a scene from the Saw movies. I disrobed and laid down. They (2 people!) laid a “modesty towel” over my lady bits and proceeded to scrub me down with a glorious smelling salt scrub. They showered me down with the Arm O’ Faucets (oh my gosh) and then dried and mosturized my body. I died and went to heaven. It was so intensely relaxing.

ย ^Yes, please tell me more about your wonderful body treatments.

Anyway, all that was MORE than worth the $32 and teacher poking her head in every once in a while to make sure everything was going ok. Treat yourself to something nice and don’t feel guilty about it. Just Google “beauty school” ย in your home town.

**If you are one of my 55 wonderful followers, I received a very interesting comment on yesterday’s post and have since edited the content a bit. Please check it out quickly if you read yesterday. Thanks!

And have a WONDERFUL day! WOOOHOOOO, it’s Friday.

๐Ÿ™‚

Produce: To Buy Organic or Not?

I had a realization last night that I really want this blog to be about staying healthy with no time OR money. I think I’ve done pretty well with the no time but where’s the money guidance Ashley!? Where is it?

Organic produce: SUPER expensive but sometimes it’s really worth it. Here’s an easy to follow list of rules when buying produce. Or anything really.

Rule #1: If it’s available, buy LOCAL – this is because the closer you can get to where your food is produced, the more you can be comfortable that it’s not grown with any pesticides or other crappy chemicals. Also, the shorter the shipping distance, the more nutrients left when it hits your mouth. And you’re supporting your local economy! Here’s a guide to see if your community offers the best thing for local produce, farmer’s markets.

Rule #2: If it’s available, buy ORGANIC – again, chemicals (such as pesticides) are bad in food and very bad in your body. Get that stuff out of there! Also, non organic produce is often genetically modified and much lower in nutrients.ย [According to a study done by Stanford, link here, there are no more nutrients in organic food than conventionally grown. However, there is a strong but so far unstudied likelihood that the presence of pesticides affects your body so much that it is not able to absorb all the nutrients in the produce.]ย ย If you’re gonna eat an apple, might as well get all the good you can out of it, right?

Rule #3: If organic is too expensive or there’s a limited selection, follow the list of the CLEAN FIFTEEN and DIRTY DOZEN. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out this awesome list every year of the cleanest and dirtiest produce on the market that year. If it’s on the clean fifteen, it has very few pesticides and isn’t a huge harm to your body. If it’s on the dirty dozen, only buy it organic because conventional farmers basically bathe it in a chemical bath.

^This is a great pocket guide you can download from the website but you should definitely check it out in all it’s glory. Here’s the link. I am signed up for the newsletter (they don’t bombard your inbox like I do) and I got the app for my phone so I can have it whenever I’m at the market.

How is your market’s selection of organic produce? What has been your organic buying practice up to now?

Don’t forget to smile ๐Ÿ™‚

Workout Wednesday: 12 minutes and done! I swear.

Last night I led my first workout in front of more than 5 people! It was so flipping fun. We had very fit people as well as people who haven’t worked out in a while. We had kids there (seriously, 3 year olds) as well as ladies in their fifties. And every single person was sweating. Again, it was so fun!

Here’s the workout:

– SIX exercises

– do each exercise THREE times

– do it for TWENTY seconds, then rest for TWENTY, then do it for another 20, and on…

– it’s VERY important to do as many of each exercise in 20 seconds

Exercises:

1) low jacks

2) toe tapsย – tap on the ground or find a stair

3) burpeesย – follow the image and put a push up in the middle

4) speed squats – squats, as fast as you can while keeping form

5) tricep dips

6) high knees

Best part is, the workout only takes TWELVE MINUTES!!

Who’s gonna try this? Tell me if you do!

Whatever your workout today, I hope it is wonderful! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thankful Tuesday: Health

What are you thankful for? Yes, there may be a few negatives floating around in your head but the more you force the good stuff to the front, the happier you will be. I don’t do this as much as I should but today is a day to focus on the positives!

I am thankful for:

1. My innate understanding of health. My parents (especially my Mom) raised me in an incredibly healthy household. I have found that I can teach people about health mostly from what I already know. That’s pretty awesome.

2. My body’s ability to fight the flu! It took over a week but I am 99% back to normal health. Yay! < and that without ANY medication, not even ibuprofen.

3. The happiness and health of my loved ones. I have had so little illness or loss in my life. I am SO SO thankful for that.

Ashley Life Updates: Shout out to my Gran! She was feeling really sick too last week. Get better Gran, love you.

So seriously, what are you thankful for on this fine day?