This weekend makes it official

Summer is here!  Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial marker of summer and I am so glad to have summer finally rear it's beautiful head!

Here in Minnesota it feels like we've been playing a cat-and-mouse game with summer; each time we thought it was getting close it would run away for a week or so (lame!)  The past couple days, however, Bonnie Ann and I have been able to spend some time outside and the forecast is telling me that we'll be able to continue on with this - love it!!!

Summer brings it SO many things - baseball, campfires, beach days, school being out, amusement parks and the list could continue on - and on - and on - and on - and you probably get the picture now, right?  Another think that summer brings in?  Hot dogs, beer, cotton candy and cookouts (generally with not-so-healthy options).  But summer is the BEST time to eat healthy!  Farmer's markets are open, grilling is easy in the weather and everything is just so much fresher!

I get it, though.  (Believe, me, I do!)  Life gets busy and we like to indulge.  We go on vacation, we're invited to friends' houses and we just want to enjoy ourselves.  And why shouldn't we?!?  Days are long but the weeks fly by so quickly - but we should really put some effort into not throwing in the towel on our health and fitness!

To help facilitate that, I am introducing a brand-new style of challenge group!  My current groups are 60 days - but in Minnesota that's practically the entire summer!  #aintnobodygottimeforthat  This group will be different in more ways than just the length, though - let me list them!

- 30 days (okay, I had to start here, now I'm on to the other ways!)

- Customizable meal plans - I will provide the framework for a meal plan with awesome food options that are great for summer, easy on the pocketbook and tasty!  But if you don't like apples?  We can sub them out!  Peanut butter not your jam?  That's fine - we'll replace it!  I find that often the meal planning portion is the most difficult for my challengers, so for these 30 days I will be taking the guesswork completely out of it for you - and we'll talk about how I set them up so you feel totally comfortable with continuing on after the group!

- Bring your friends along (and earn prizes)! - Getting healthy by yourself is GREAT - but getting healthy with others is even better!  If you and a friend both sign up for this challenge you will each get a workout tank top as a welcome gift from me (because who doesn't want to rock new duds with their new bod??)

- Weekly Challenges - By joining this challenge group you are committing to really put yourself as a top priority for 30 days - 30 days!  You can absolutely do 30 days!  But I absolutely realize that some days get busier than others, especially in the summer!  So each Monday morning I will post that week's assignments so you know exactly what is coming up each day to make it easier to plan for!  None of these take long to complete and none of them are difficult, but knowing ahead of time can mean one less thing you have to anticipate!  Bonus??  At the end of each week there may just be a winner-winner-grilled chicken dinner!

This group will be so much fun and I can't wait for it to get started!  If you are interested in this group do not let it pass you by!  I will be limiting my enrollment to 10 people - so jump in quick (and if you have a friend who joins alongside you, remember that you will both get a tank top!)

So what's required?

I don't want to make this complicated as I know summer can get crazy, so the requirements are simple!

- You commit to doing a Beachbody workout program throughout the group.  Some are as short as 25 minutes a day so you absolutely can fit it in!

- You commit to following your meal plan.  This group is for people who want to get some results and want to be feeling fierce by the end of summer - and you can totally get there but you have to eat well!  Unless you're Michael Phelps or any other super-intense sports star, you're probably not going to be able to get away with eating anything you want, so by following your meal plan you will be allowing your results to shine through instead of sabotaging them (we've all been-there, done-that, right?)

- You commit to replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.  This is a full-on nutritious meal replacement shake and will help you get the results you're after!  Plus, it's easy - and tastes awesome!  I have a ton of recipes to share with the group for all the flavors and I think by the end of the group you won't be able to choose a favorite because you'll have so many!

- You commit to staying active in the group.

That's it!

The countdown to 30 days begins now - are you in???

Fill out the application form below and we can get started!!!

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Body Beast Week 4 Woman's Results

Body Beast week 4 is done and in the bag!  Now that I'm half way through week 5 I figured it was about time I catch up with my progress on the blog - so here I am :) 

Have I said before that I love Body Beast?  If I haven't, I want you to know that I do!

When I look at the scale it is a bit disheartening, I will be honest.  We are so trained to base everything on our weight and even though I know better it can still be easy to get tripped up when the scale doesn't budge.  But I will stick to my guns and not let myself get disappointed because so many awesome things are happening outside of the scale that I can't help but be happy!

My arms are starting to feel less floppy and more lean, my core is tighter and stronger than it has been since before Bonnie Ann arrived and my squats have never been better - and this is all from Body Beast!

Week four marks the beginning of the "Bulk Phase" of Body Beast.  It switches to new "bulk" workouts, with the exception of Beast: Cardio and Beast: Abs that were also used in the Build phase.  (If I were doing the Huge Beast schedule instead of the Lean Beast schedule, Beast: Cardio would not be included in this phase.)

How about some results, huh?  It's probably time!

These results are just from the end of week 3 of the Build Phase to the end of week 4 (week 1 of Bulk Phase).  Not too shabby!  My mid section is definitely seeing the most progress - and I have absolutely no problem with that!!!

I'm excited to see what next week brings me!

And, as always, if you are interested in joining up with me to start (or continue!) a health-living journey, don't by shy!  Email me directly at ashleykrek@gmail.com or simply fill out the application below!

I'd love to help you get where you want to be!

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Southwest Salad and Dressing

I have exactly ONE picture of this recipe - but if a picture is truly worth a thousand words, each of those words would be a synonym for yum!!!

This recipe has officially made it onto the "I could eat this everyday but will refrain myself so maybe twice a month instead" rotation - I love it!  There is something about cilantro and black beans that just makes me smile!

Southwest Salad

As usual with recipes I share, you could definitely tweak this one and make it your own - but I would love to hear what you think of it and how you change it up!!!

Southwest Salad Dressing

I put these one two separate images because you could easily make the dressing as a veggie dip (it's not too runny of a dressing, but if you wanted to thicken it up you could cut down on the milk) or make the salad without using this dressing.  But my vote?  Together is the way to go!!!

Southwest Salad

What do you think?  Does this seem like something you'd like?


Butterbeer Shakeology

Let me start this by saying HOLY BUCKETS!!!

I am a fan of a LOT of things and Harry Potter is right near the top of that list.  A couple years ago I was able to go to Harry Potter World in Florida and I sampled one (or two) glasses of Butterbeer.  I have wanted to re-create this so many times but I try and avoid soda, so I was kind of stuck.  Until last week when I was in the grocery store and I saw something I had never noticed before - root beer extract!  Perhaps I should have known about this already, but I didn't, so it was like my mind was blown open to all the Butterbeer possibilities ahead of me.  I might be a bit too excited about this, but really I don't think I am - that's how good this is!

Butterbeer Shakeology

I'm pretty sure I'll be making this at least weekly for the rest of forever - just sayin!  Drinking it will allow me to continue my pop avoidance, indulge in a little Harry Potter-inspired goodness and get all the nutrition that is offered in Shakeology!  Win-win-win!  That's a lot of winning! 

So how do we go about making Butterbeer Shakeology?  It's actually super simple!

Butterbeer Shakeology

I normally don't use such a fancy glass for my Shakeology as it's more of a grab-and-go type of meal, but when I made this for the first time I just couldn't resist putting it in a frosty mug and savoring it!  

Would you like to try this?  I'd love to hear what you think of it!

If you would like to, but don't already have Shakeology, I can help you out!  There are individual packets available for purchase along the right-hand side of this blog (if you're looking at this post on your phone, scroll to the bottom and click to see the full web version!).  I definitely recommend trying this out - it's just so good!  

If you think you're ready to commit to not only trying out Butterbeer Shakeology but also to spending a bit of time focused on your own health and fitness goals, comment below or email me directly at ashleykrek@gmail.com.  I would love to chat with  you about the role Shakeology and fitness can play in getting you to the healthiest version of you possible.


Body Beast Block 1 Results

Welp, three weeks are already in the bag with Body Beast!!!  On Saturday morning I finished Build: Back & Bis and with that I had finished the entire Build section of Body Beast.  On Sunday I had a bit of a lie-in before 8 am Mass and after church I did my first Bulk-phase workout: Chest.  It was great and I could tell how much stronger I had become in the three weeks of the Build program.  But before I get on a Bulk tangent, let's get to some results for the Build phase!

My pictures don't show much of a change (but, of course, they don't tell the whole story), my weight and measurements haven't drastically changed (but they have changed!) and I still have a long ways to go on this Body Beast journey.  What I know without an absolute doubt, though?  I have changed.  I am stronger, I feel better, I have more energy and my posture has improved!  All those things make the number on the scale matter little to me - there are so many more important things to worry about!

In the pictures above I see that my stomach is starting to flatten back out a bit.  I can tell just by looking at the pictures that my posture is better, too - and that's always a good thing!

Whoo hoo!!  I love these numbers!  The red numbers on the right show the difference since the beginning of the program - but that first week I clearly had some gains instead of losses, so if I had calculated from that week then my losses would be larger!  And to think - this is just the beginning of the story :)

The pictures, measurements and scale still tell part of the story, and I have big hopes for what the remainder of this program (the Bulk and Beast phases) will do for me!  After writing this blog post (which I'm doing on Sunday afternoon) I will immediately be working on my meal plan for the coming week.  I will be incorporating aspects of clean eating, the Body Beast meal planning book and the 21 Day Fix - it'll be yummy!  The more control of my eating I have the more results I see, so I'm going to rein in the food for the next five weeks and see what I can do!

I'll be sharing my meal plan later this week - be sure to check back for it!  In the meantime, if you are curious about this program (which happens to be on sale for the month of May!) or how I, as a Team Beachbody coach, can help support and help you as you tackle your own health & fitness journey, please reach out by commenting below or emailing me at ashleykrek@gmail.com.  I am here to help you get the body you've always wanted!