Tag Archives: Weight Loss

Workout Wednesday: 20-minute Total Body #6

Prelude: This day is always kind of a weird one. On one hand, 12 years ago was the first (and still the biggest) historical event to happen in my life. It was a horrific day that changed countless lives. On the other hand, America’s reaction, the coming together of a country, was pretty spectacular.

So today, I recognize the anniversary of the sadness and the loss but also of a galvanized country. Every September 11th, let’s remember what we’ve already been through and how we reemerged. Hold on to that unity. Have a chat with your neighbor, ask your coworker about their day, get excited about nothing with a child in your life … live it up, because you never know what will come tomorrow.

And on that note, I really hope that “living it up” includes doing a workout with me!

Here is our workout for this week. No weights or equipment required! Actually, you don’t even need much space for this. So clear some floor in you living room, dorm room, vacation bedroom, or even kitchen! There are no excuses to skip this one. When a workout uses only your body weight, you define the intensity.

Did you hear that? When a workout uses only your body weight, you define the intensity. Your workout is only as awesome as the effort you put in. And those muscles you’re working for don’t just create themselves. Sweat is your friend! Now get at it 🙂

20 minute total body 6

I hope you’re now panting and sweating. Have a happy day knowing you’ve already done your workout 🙂

Workout Wednesday: Spring Shape Up

Last night, at our workout class, we started the Spring Shape Up. Loads of patients are trying to get in shape for summer so to encourage them we issued a challenge: lose (at least) 5 pounds in 4 weeks and do it together. We have 30+ people doing it and it makes such a difference! Continue reading

Workout Wednesday: Remember Why?

Why do you workout? What type of workouts to do you? What’s the science behind them and are they effective? Do you know?

These 16-minute workouts have changed my body completely. I feel strong and capable and I don’t hate the thought of doing it every day. Here’s why: Continue reading

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, 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. 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-  32.5″, today- 33″

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

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row



1) low jacks (keep your upper body level)


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


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


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


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


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: 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.

Then 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 success is defined by the ambition of the commitments they can keep. So make your goal lofty but reachable, and then go get it!


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 intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row


High Knees

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


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!


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


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


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.


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?



“Use This” Monday: High Heat Oil

Canola Oil was originally popularized in the US, in the form of rapeseed oil, to aid in the building of ships during World War 2. When the war ended, demand dropped, and the main producer of the oil (Canada) began to look for a form of rapeseed oil edible by humans. The new invention was lower in erucic acid (which is linked to heart disease). The Canadians came up with the very clever name Canola: Canadian oil, low acid. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CANOLA PLANT.

At the time that Canada was going about inventing Canola Oil, American food manufacturers were looking for a cheap alternative to polyunsaturated oils like olive oil and healthy unsaturated fats like butter and coconut oil. Perfect! Canola Oil fit the bill and the Canadian producers began the expensive road to FDA approval and marketing to manufacturers.

The original Canola Oil was created through basic breeding and selection, however in 1995, there was a massive genetic modification in Canola Oil. The new oil was so genetically different from the original rapeseed oil that it could be patented. The modification succeeded in producing a bacterial DNA in the oil that makes it impervious to the toxic herbicide, RoundUp. This means that the patented oil is regularly doused in RoundUp to combat the growth of other plants. Yummy!

Canola oil is about a third polyunsaturated fat which is incredible unstable in high heat. This means that every time you cook with the oil, then eat whatever you cook (duh), they increase inflammation in your body (ouch) and contribute to heart disease, cancer, weight gain, and other degenerative diseases.

The way your body reacts to Canola Oil is the same with other industrial oils like CORN OIL and SOYBEAN OIL.

In other words:


– organic and grass-fed is best. Yep, full fat butter is good for you! When shopping, the lesser ingredients the better.



– organic and unrefined is best < MY FAVORITE. More on the amazingness of coconut oil later.


– organic and extra virgin is best (low heat only)



^ BOOOO!!! HISSS!!!!

This is a very short version of an awesome article by the blogger, Small Footprint Family. See the article here.

So when are you going to make the switch?



Basic Friday: Where’s your spine?

What do you know about your spine? I follow a crap-ton (that’s the official measurement) of healthy blogs and so few of them talk about the importance of your nervous system to the functioning of your body. Why is that? I think people are either uninformed or scared to admit that you spine does it all and chances are, yours is misaligned.

Full disclosure: I work for a health center/chiropractor. First, we take care of our patients’ nervous systems, then we help them with nutrition, exercise, and mental health. But FIRST WE TAKE CARE OF THEIR NERVOUS SYSTEMS.

When I was growing up, my parents went to the chiropractor regularly and brought us in for adjustments whenever we were feeling out of whack. I loved getting adjusted. Walking out of a visit with a good (not all are good) chiropractor made me feel like I was stronger and functioning the way I was supposed to. Like my head was on straight or something. And while I have been struggling with loving my current company (see this post), there is not one moment that I have doubted the power of a healthy spine.

Did you know that EVERY NERVE in your body leads through your spine? Imagine what happens if there is a misalignment in your vertebra. Can’t imagine? Well it pinches all the nerves in that area and sends out garbled messages to those organs. The organs affected by your spine include but are not limited to: brain (yep it’s true), thyroid, heart, lungs, digestive tract, stomach…I could go on and on. But those seem like some pretty important organs right? RIGHT.

In the three months that I’ve been working at our clinic I have seen people come off their depression medication, ADHD medication, and start digesting again after being backed up for way too long. I’ve seen people start sleeping through the night, get rid of their restless leg syndrome, and throw away their asthma inhaler (they don’t need it anymore!). Of course they end their miserable back pain but they also come off their sleep apnea machines, drop tens of pounds of fat, and regain the function of numb limbs. This is a pretty cool one: we have a toddler with severe downs syndrome. When she came into our office, she didn’t have muscle function in her legs and couldn’t move her left arm. 30 minutes after her first adjustment, her mom took a photo of her holding her arms (yep both of them) out for a hug. Now, three months later, she’s very close to walking on her own.

^ This is our victory trash can: all medications that our patients don’t need anymore.

I don’t make this stuff up. I’m not trying to stand on my soap box and look down on all you sadly uninformed. I’m just really excited about it! There are absolutely things that chiropractic can’t help, but people don’t realize all that it really can do.

Now there are A LOT of chiropractors around. It’s difficult to figure out who to trust. Just like normal doctors, some chiropractors really shouldn’t be practicing. However! For every bad doctor there is a great one that can help the bejeesus out of you. Here’s how to tell the difference. Fixing and maintaining your spine should never be a “oh hey, let’s pop your back now and then you come back every time you’re in pain!” That is called pain management and it ensures that you are always on the brink of fall back out of alignment. You want to look for what is called STRUCTURAL CORRECTION. Structural correction combines periodic Xrays with adjustments and exercises to take care of your spine FOR LIFE. No more pain, no more symptoms. And yes, I did say FOR LIFE. After this job, I will be seeing a chiropractor for the rest of my life. But it will not be because I’m in pain, it will be my own personal health insurance. Preventative care, if you may.

I am not the only person shouting this message and this will not be the only time I talk about chiropractic. But I figured an introduction was necessary. I’m not going to dance around this subject anymore because I’m starting to realize that everyone needs to open their eyes to this stuff. It’s pretty freaking awesome.

If you’re interested in more information, I stumbled across this fantastic article:


Also, if you’ve already decided you want to get checked out, google “Structural Correction in [your town]” Make sure you check out the doctor’s credentials and talk to current patients about their results. Also try to search online for any reviews of the clinic or specific doctor.

If you’re having trouble finding a doctor, comment this page and I’ll direct you to one of ours. My company has 400 doctors all over the US and Canada.

Like I said, chiropractic can’t fix everything, but it can sure give you a head start on any of the issues you’re tackling. On that note, smile and be happy to be alive 🙂


Wednesday Workout: Let’s Walk Down This Path

I led another awesome workout session last night. We’ve been running them for 3 weeks and I’ve seen people come once and not again, but I’ve also seen people come back, and that’s what I love. Mike comes to the workouts and I grill him for criticism and advice every Tuesday night. This week I realized how nervous I am that not everyone is getting sucked into the atmosphere of exercise. He grabbed me by the shoulders and injected this little wisdom nugget into my head:

I can’t force people to change, I can only give them the knowledge and lead them down the right path. In the end, they have to move their own two legs to walk that path.

Isn’t he smart 🙂 It’s so true. There is a certain switch that has to trigger for someone to truly educate themselves and make the gargantuan effort to stay healthy. Because it is NOT EASY. Compared to unhealthy living, it’s expensive, time-consuming, and takes some major will-power but it’s so worth it.

So here I am, leading you to the path. Keep following me and I’ll try to make it less expensive, less time-consuming, and maybe a little more fun.

Today I challenge you to actually do this workout! I have a feeling that you just scroll through these Wednesday posts without a second glance. JUST TRY IT. It’s 12 minutes. What do you have to lose?

– 20 seconds on/20 seconds rest

– each exercise 3 times

– total of 12 minutes

– if you don’t push yourself, this doesn’t work. if you do, holy cow it’s amazing!

1) high knees

2) russian twist – use weight and/or lift your legs off the ground.

3) calf raises – use weight or not! hold on to a chair if you need to.

4) plié squat – if it’s easy, do it faster and/or use weight.

5) tri dip – if it’s easy, lift one leg up or stretch both out in front.

6) mountain climber – fast or slow

photo credit: 1 2 3 4 5 6

So how did it go??