Tag Archives: At Home

Tasty Tuesday: Honey Yogurt Dip

We had some people over on Saturday. A melting pot of people from all the different areas of our life. We ladies had some fun with makeup (more on that Friday) while the guys watched basketball. Then we all went line dancing! I’m getting pretty good at it by now.

So for the get together at our place, I decided that I would cook appetizers.Ā I settled on 4 relatively simple recipes. When people started arriving and I was only half done cooking, I realized I may have been a bit ambitious. BUT, I did discover this amazing recipe. It took a total of 3 minutes and was one of the tastiest things on the table.

YogurtHoneyDip-Published

Honey Yogurt Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (organic and/or goat is better, raw is best)
  • 2 Tbsp honey (local is best)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • Any fruit that’s in season

Instructions:

  1. Cut up your fruit into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients together and serve!

Also, it snowed here again! About 5 inches in 24 hours. I had the day off and managed to catch the flu so it was the perfect weather to snuggle up on the couch, watch marathon TV, and drink pots of tea. But just to prove how amazing the Midwest is, a random, kindly citizen cleaned off my car! There is no way for me to know who did it so they just did it from the kindness of their heart. Peoria really isn’t so bad šŸ™‚

Snowed In

 

I hope you’re having a happy day. Love and hugs – Ash

Thriving Thursday: Grocery Shopping Guide

In talking to people all over my community, I’ve discovered that very few of them know how to grocery shop. We have SO many options. When you’re trying to get healthy, what’s the right brand of healthy to buy? This is a simple beginner’s guide to healthy grocery shopping.

So here is a set of rules to help you navigate more quickly through the maze of choices.

photo 10

1. Always start with the whole foods. Start in the produce section and let yourself salivate over the deep orangeĀ bell peppersĀ or in-season strawberries. If your store has them, move on to the bulk seeds and nuts. Then peruse the other sections, skipping processed foods whenever possible. Ā Focus your efforts where you can find the most nutrients: in whole foods!

SalsaNutritionPanel

2. Check the INGREDIENTS not the nutrition panel.Ā Only buy processed food that you can’t find in a whole food form. We have been trained to look at the nutrition panel on all packaged foods. How many calories, how much fat, and sodium, etc. But new research and my personal observation shows that it’s the ingredients that matter, not the nutritional breakdown. The fewer ingredients the better and make sure you can recognize the name of everything in the processed food you’re eating.

photo 7

3. Avoid sugar like the plague. When you start looking at ingredients in processed food, you’ll notice that sugar is added to EVERYTHING. Check out this post for why sugar is bad. Aside from the obvious “sugar,” Anything ending in “-ose” is sugar including sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Any “gum” is considered sugar including lecithin gum and xanthan gum. And any kind of “syrup” is sugar including brown rice sugar. And finally, ASPARTAME IS EVIL. It’s a neurotoxin. Check the post mentioned above for more info.

photo 2

4. NEVER buy “low-fat” or “reduced fat” or “1%” fat or any product from which they’ve removed the fat. This includes milk. Buy whole milk! when manufacturers remove the fat, the concentration of sugar in the substance is even higher. They even add sugar sometimes (!) because the product tastes so bad without its natural fat. Seriously. So it has higher sugar content but a lot of those fats are actually very good for you. They are necessary for your bodies proper function. So just keep the fat in!

There are only a few guiding principles to the beginner’s healthy shopping but man they are whoppers. Budget double the time it normally takes you to shop, at least until you can find the brands you like. Once you’re adjusted you’ll zoom through the grocery store once again!

I hope you’re all having fantabulous days. Love and a big smile šŸ™‚ – Ash

Workout Wednesday: Perceived Threshold

People ask me every Tuesday night whether I’m going to take it easy on them or kill them with this workout. My reply is always that I’ll make you feel like you’re dying but you’ll feel amazing afterward. And it’s true!

With these types of workouts, you should be going at such an effort that your muscles stop working, your lungs are burning, and you feel an achy pain in muscles you didn’t even know you had. As long as you are not feeling sharp pain anywhere, and are focusing on correct form, you are doing it right. (If you start to experience sharp pain of any kind, especially in joints, stop that exercise immediately and consult a doc about it.)

So keep going, hard. Work through the pain. The thing that separates you and a higher level of fitness is the ability to push past your perceived threshold. You can always go faster, jump higher, and lunge lower. No excuses!

And now … the workout!

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

AdvancedĀ (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

High Knees

1. high knees (hold your hands at a certain height and bring your knees to touch them)

TriDip

2. tri dips (legs bent in or held straight out)

calfjump

3. calf jumps (too easy? jump higher, jump faster, hold weights in your hands)

crunches

4. crunches (focus on lifting your shoulders, DO NOT pull on your neck; beginner-feet on ground, intermediate-feet at right angle, advanced-feet in air)

plank(better)

5. plank tick tock (beginner-knees or elbows on ground, intermediate-full plank, advanced-lift one leg and, keeping it straight, swing it out to the side, then bring it back to center and do the same with the other leg, in a pendulum-like motion)

Lunge

6. speed lunges (keep feet planted and bounce upper body up and down, switch legs at half-way point)

+ Fit Minute. Choose one of the following exercises. Do it for a full minute at 100% effort. Count how many you do and record it. Weā€™ll be doing these after every workout from now on:

  • Level 1 ā€“ side to side steps or jumping jacks
  • Level 2 ā€“ push ups
  • Level 3 ā€“ burpees

I hope you get all charged up after these workouts like I do. Love and a big smile šŸ™‚ – Ash

Workout Wednesday: Remeasure Time!

This workout capped off an 8-week weight loss challenge for a lot of my patients. At 4 weeks they were doing really well. The goal is to lose 10 pounds and most of them had done it. Then, as the weeks rolled along, they forgot about the changes they had made and a lot of them returned to their previous weight.

There were two people who kept weight off, but I know they slacked towards the end too. The interesting thing is that they all come to me with tips to get back on the healthy track but they already know how! If you’ve done it once before, you can do it again. Humans don’t really learn permanent lessons from doing something for a month. So if and when you fall off the wagon, jump back on! You know how to get back to health. And maybe this time you can make it stick. It’s all up to you.

Anyway,Ā I love my health and the body it has given me. I’m right where I want to be, which I why I love helping people get to that state of mind as well. But I figured I’d participate just to see if there was any change.Ā I measured the largest width from my arm, leg, and belly. My measurements 8 weeks ago and today are:

  • Right arm 8 weeks ago- 12″, today- 11.5″
  • Right leg 8 weeks ago- 24.5″, today- 24.5″
  • Stomach 8 weeks ago- Ā 32.5″, today- 33″

HA! So pretty much exactly the same. I’m happy with that šŸ™‚ And finally the workout you’ve been looking for.

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

AdvancedĀ (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

LowJacks2LowJacks1

1) low jacks (keep your upper body level)

PushUp

2) push ups (beginner- on your knees OR on your feet standing and pushing against a wall)

Squat

3) speed squats (lower ab brace is very important here)

Situps

4) sit ups (lift your shoulders first, DO NOT wrench your neck)

Lunge

5) lunges (shoulders over hips, knee over ankle)

burpees

6) 1/2 burpee (without the push up, step 4)

I hope you’re all having awesome days! Love and a big fat smile. – Ash

 

Workout Wednesday: Timing is Everything.

I have three questions for you. Yes, YOU. A lot of people have been falling off the health bandwagon. It’s about that time of year when resolutions crumble and the same people who were enthusiastic 2 months ago are reverting back to the I-don’t-have-time excuse.

So my questions are:

  1. Have you developed a regular workout routine?
  2. What time of day can you absolutely NOT workout?
  3. What time of day does a workout give you the most benefits? (i.e. energy, happy hormones, strength, agility, etc)

Please answer them below. Seriously. Because if you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s time to figure them out.

My answers:

  1. Yes.
  2. Definitely not anytime after work.
  3. The morning. Waking up and doing something for myself starts my day on the right track.

Now that you’ve thought those through, here’s the workout for this week!

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

AdvancedĀ (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

Side Hops

1. side hops- Use a shoe as an obstacle to jump over. Jump high and very fast.

PushUp

2. pushups (beginner- on your knees, intermediate- on your toes with only a slight elbow bend)

RussianTwist

3. russian twist- bend at the waist, lift your chest to the ceiling. (beginner- feet on ground, intermediate- legs at right angle, advanced- legs straight in air)

jumplunge

4. jump switch lunges (jump high, lunge low)

BirdDogs

5. bird dog (beginner- from hands and knees, intermediate- from plank position)

wallsit

6. wall sits (beginner- feet flat on ground, advanced- lift one knees at a time, hold for 3 seconds)

Hope you all have Happy Wednesdays. Love and a big ‘ole smile. – Ash

 

Workout Wednesday: Don’t Eat Too Soon Beforehand

Happy Wednesday Ya’ll! I had a smoothie way too close to the beginning of this workout and it threatened to come up for 20 minutes after I was done. Whoops! So just make sure you have a relatively clear belly and are ready to work those muscles until they fatigue!

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

AdvancedĀ (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

LowJacks1LowJacks2

Ā 1. low jacks

TriDip

2. tri dips (beginner-bent legs, advanced-straight legs)

PlieSquat

3. plie squat

crunches

4. crunches (feet on the ground, legs 90Ā°, or legs straight in the air)

MountainClimber

5. mountain climbers

PushUp

6. pushups

+ Fit Minute. Choose one of the following exercises. Do it for a full minute at 100% effort. Count how many you do and record it. We’ll be doing these after every workout from now on:

  • Level 1 – side to side steps or jumping jacks
  • Level 2 – push ups
  • Level 3 – burpees

I hope you all have wonderful Wednesdays! šŸ™‚

 

Workout Wednesday: Post New Year Blues

Are you getting them? The feeling at multiple points in the day of “Ugh, I just don’t want to get out of bed, or make the drive to work, and now I have to workout?!”

Yes, yes. I’m right there with you. After so many wonderful holidays for the last 2 months, reality is hitting hard. My day-to-day life is actually pretty awesome. I’m fortunate enough to have a comfortable and interesting existence, but sometimes I just don’t want to get out of bed!

Then I workout. My energy comes back, my mood is lifted. And I get to dance around in my pajamas for my warm up. And all that mood-boosting only take 16 minutes. So I will now post this workout and go do it! The blues only get you down if you let it happen.

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

AdvancedĀ (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

High Knees

1. high knees (advanced: higher knees, quicker steps)

SquatSideKick

2. squat kicks (advanced: with weight held over your head)

RussianTwist

3. russian twist (beginner: with feet on ground)

Fire Hydrants

4. fire hydrant (switch sides half-way through each interval)

Lunge

5. speed lunges (small, quick bends w/ feet locked in place. switch sides halfway through interval)

plank(better)

6. plank (with kicks if you can)

Let me know how it goes. I hope you’re having a wonderful day šŸ™‚

 

Workout Wednesday: Feel That Bum Burn!

My workout class is growing as it’s wonderful. We’re getting lots of guests of patients and they’re starting to show up even when their original friend isn’t there! That class is my favorite hour of the week because I get to see people progress and get stronger right before my eyes. I love it. Maybe they can feel it and that’s why they keep coming back. Or maybe all they feel are their muscles burning the next day, who knows…I’m just glad I keep seeing their happy, sweaty faces every week.

Last night I kept yelling “Do you feel that in your bum?” Haha. I couldn’t post that in the title because my brain is just a little too dirty…anyway! This workout seems to workout the glutes more than usual. So enjoy it!

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

AdvancedĀ (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Tip: As always, you’re the only one who can make this exercise hard. It’s only 12/16 minutes so just grin and bear it, push yourself to fatigue, it will all be over soon.

Exercises:

Side Hops

1. Speed Side Hops (beginner-side steps, advanced-jump very quickly over an obstacle, if it’s easy, use a bigger obstacle)

FrogSquat2 FrogSquat1

2. Frog Squats (only go as low and high as your flexibility and strength allows)

PikePushup

3. Pike Push Up

JumpKneeTucks

4. Jump Knee Tucks (land as softly as possible, if it hurts your knees, quickly tuck one leg at a time)

Fire Hydrants

5. Fire Hydrant

MountainClimber

6. Mountain Climbers

Your bum is going to be sore tomorrow but, in a week, it will be even more shapely. Yay!

Happy Wednesday everyone! šŸ™‚

 

Workout Wednesday: Lofty But Attainable Goals

Do you have a weight loss goal right now? Most people, especially in this season, want to get more fit. What’s your goal? At work we are doing a 30 day weight loss challenge. Last night we did the first weigh-ins. For four weeks we challenge everyone to eat right at least six days a week and exercise at least three days a week. So I challenge you, if you have a goal, do the same thing!

If your goal is fat loss, get naked and get on the scale. If your goal is more lean muscle, find a flexible tape measure or piece of string and measure around the largest part of your stomach, arm, and leg. Then record the numbers. Somewhere that you won’t lose or forget.

ThenĀ start the baby steps. Plan your meals and your workouts. Don’t give yourself an option to deviate. Workout in the mornings before you start your day, and remove all sugary, bad-fatty foods from your house. No temptations. Don’t go out to eat if you can’t resist the hamburger and fries. It’s only four weeks! Challenge yourself. Be proud of every day you can get through in a completely healthy way. I think a person’s successĀ is defined by the ambition of the commitments they can keep. So make your goal lofty but reachable, and then go get it!

measuring

I’ve been slacking off for the past 6 weeks. With the holidays and everything, it’s time for me to get back into it and start some serious training. Bike season is coming up! So I’m going to join the Challenge. But for me, it’s going to be a lean muscle challenge. So I used a tape measure and piece of rope. My measurements are: 32.5″ (stomach), 12″ (right arm), 24.5″ (right leg). I’ll let you know how I’m looking in 4 weeks!

Finally, here’s today’s workout:

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

AdvancedĀ (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

High Knees

1) high knees – speed is most important with this one.

plank(better)

2) X plank – start in straight plank…if you can, jump out your legs then step out your arms to form an “X”, move them all back in and start again. Don’t forget to keep your body straight as a plank!

jumplunge

3) jump lunges – align your joints ALWAYS, shoulders over hips, front knee over toes.

crunches

4) crunches – look at the ceiling and lift your shoulders. DO NOT pull on your neck.

calfjump

5) calf jumps – fluid jumping, very little bend in the knee. like you’re at a concert without any space. ps. the girl in this photo is ripped! So awesome.

wallsit

6) wall sits – quads parallel to the ground. If it’s too easy for you, Keep your legs touching each other. Still too easy? Raise one foot off the ground, switch at the halfway point.

So what’s your goal and how will you do it?

šŸ™‚

 

Workout Wednesday: Hop Back to It

This is my first workout post since the Holidays. I’ve finally detoxed myself off of the ChocoCheese Diet: a sophisticated diet of only chocolate, cheese, wine, and NO exercise to speak of for the 10 days surrounding the Holidays. And I’m finally over the flu. Do you think the two were related? Hmmm.

I’m over the fever of my flu but still have a lingering cough and some sniffles. No matter! Read this awesome blog post about if you should or shouldn’t workout when sick. So because my fever is gone, I hit the yoga mat for some light exercise on Monday and then did the Beginner form of this workout yesterday. Today I’ll be back on the bike trainer doing intervals for an hour or so.

Anyway, it’s the New Year. We don’t have any more excuses. You have to get back to your regular routine whether you like it or not. And yes, I’m really struggling with this one too. Want to face it together?

Beginner through intermediateĀ (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

AdvancedĀ (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

Side Hops

1. side hops

LegBalance

2. leg balance – touch the top of your water bottle or the seat of a chair (switch sides at 10 seconds)

PushUp

3. push up

hipraise

4. hip raise

plank

5. plank (with kicks for advanced form)

Squat Jump

6. squat jumps

REMEMBER: this workout only works if you push yourself. HARD. This is the most difficult part of getting back into home workouts… but I don’t wanna push myself… just do it, you won’t regret it, I promise.

What are you struggling to pick back up this New Year? How are you going to beat it? šŸ™‚