My Meal Plan: 11/1/2015 - 11/11/7/2015

Aaah, meal planning!

Planning out my meals for the coming week is one of, in my opinion, the best things we can do for our health and fitness journeys.  When I first started in my first challenge group, though, meal planning was one of the scariest things!  I thought that to effectively meal plan I would have to load up on weird ingredients, eat things I didn't like, and probably spend a ton of time doing it.

What I've learned, though, is that meal planning can be super simple, quick to do and make your life a lot less stressful than it currently is!

When I meal plan I set up a schedule for the week so I don't have to spend time each day thinking "what should I make for dinner tonight?!"  I also am able to save money grocery shopping because I know exactly what I need to buy and how much of it I will need.  By the end of the week my fridge looks pretty darn bare, but that's okay!  I am not wasting money on food I don't eat or eating more food than I need because I don't want to throw it out.  

I'm already a couple days into this meal plan, but I wanted to share it in case anyone is looking for meal plan inspiration!  Our Monday dinner was made by Jake using a crock pot - it was something we had never had before but we both really liked it!

For me, the best part about this meal plan is that everything on it is easy to find, easy to make and just all-around simple.  I love food, and cooking, but during a normal week I simply don't want to devote too much of my day to being in the kitchen - this meal plan is perfect for anyone like that!

If you are interested in meal planning but aren't sure where to start, contact me through the pop up below, commenting below with your email address or emailing me at ashleykrek@gmail.com.  My upcoming challenge group will be focusing extensively on meal planning to get us through the holiday season and I would love to help you!

Until then,


Operation Snowman Slush

It's officially November, Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and let's be honest - Christmas is already taking over all the stores!  Why doesn't Thanksgiving ever get any love?!

Along with all these things, something else will soon happen in Minnesota.  The only difference?  I'm not looking forward to it!  What is that, you ask?


Snow will be here soon (well, there were actually a couple snowflakes flying around last week, but they melted upon impact so I'm going to pretend like it never snowed at all.)

If there's one thing I've learned in life, though, it's how to make the best of any situation, so that's what I'm going to do!

Operation Snowman Slush to the rescue! If the snow has to come, we might as well have fun with it, right?!
Starting November 16th I will be running a Snowman Slush challenge group to help us go from the first snowman to the second. While the first snowman is classic, fun, and cute to look at, he's got a bit of a weight issue.
That's where this group comes in!
Two months of focusing on health, nutrition, fitness and accountability so we're not carting around extra weight going into 2016!

So how does a Challenge Group work?

A challenge group is a closed Facebook group that I, as your coach, will run to help you get in the best shape of your life. It will start with a one-week 'pre-season' where we will do things like take starting measurements, set goals, make meal plans and generally get ready for the 60 days to follow.  
Everyone (including me!) will be doing Beachbody workouts and replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.  This is combing the best fitness, nutrition and support to help you get your results on track for the last couple months of the year!  These last couple months can be tricky because of holiday parties, so nutrition and recipe ideas will be our number-one priority in this group!


You might be thinking 'ummmm.... Shakeology?  I'm not sure about that.' Honestly, I thought the exact same thing!  I had never had any type of meal replacement shake before my first challenge group and I wasn't super pumped about it. What I was excited about, though, was seeing some results and making a change in my life, so I gave it a shot. It's now been two and a half years and I'm so glad I took that leap of faith because Shakeology changed the game for me.

It was easy to make, gave me one super simple meal daily with my meal plan (I was also a meal planning newbie so that was very helpful!) and it helped me jumpstart my results from Insanity.  It has now become a daily part of my life and I absolutely love it.  So, for this group, I'm asking that everyone take a similar leap of faith and try it out for those 60 days.

I will help you with recipes, tricks to making it and tips on how I put my shake together so it truly can be your easiest, tastiest and most nutritious meal of the day!

So what do I have to do?

Getting started in this group is easy!  All I have to know is that you're committed to your health and fitness and you are willing to give it your best effort for 60 days.  If you can do that, I will do everything I can to help you get better results than you can even imagine right now!

Simply fill out the application form below and I will get in touch with you within 24 hours to get you started on your journey.  Are you ready? 
As an added bonus, the first 3 people who commit to the group will get a gift of Hip Hop Abs!

Use Wufoo templates to make your own HTML forms.


What I Read: His Other Wife

I'm finally getting to the end of books I borrowed from my sister - until the next shipment arrives, I suppose :)  

His Other Wife Review

This books is His Other Wife by Deborah Bedford.  This was a very quick read, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was one of my favorite reads ever.  What I will say, though, is that it definitely got me thinking, grateful for the life I have and it was also a bit sad at times.  I have also read her book (co-written with Joyce Meyer) The Penny, which I greatly enjoyed (it, too, was sad at times)

The basic outline of His Other Wife is this:  Hilary is raising her son Seth as a single parent after her ex-husband Eric left her for a new woman, Pam.  Years have passed since the breakup of the marriage, Seth has grown into a high school senior, Eric and Pam have had children of their own, but Hilary still feels the pain of Eric's betrayal.

When Eric, Pam and their family come into town for Seth's graduation, tensions are high and the extended family is deeply strained.  One night, though, tragedy strikes and the future of the family, and Seth specifically, is changed drastically.  His Other Wife is the story of how Hilary and Pam struggle to rally together for Seth's sake.

His Other Wife Review

Like I said, I enjoyed this book but it wasn't my favorite.  I wasn't too sure about it in the beginning, but as the story picked up and moved along I became invested in Seth and wanted to see what was going to happen.  I would definitely recommend this if you find it at the library or in the bargain section, but I'm not sure I would pay the full list price for it.

All in all, I'd give this 3 of 4 stars.

Have you read it?  What did you think of it?


Eleven Months with Bonnie Ann

Well, it's official!  Bonnie Ann is on the downhill slide to turning a full year old and Jake and I simply can't believe it!  It seems like it was just a couple months ago that we were bringing her home from the hospital for the first time.  At the same time, though, I can't imagine life without her!  Thus far this first year of her life has been so exciting and fun - I can't wait to experience the rest of it and celebrate her first birthday!  

For now, though, I'll look back on the last month.

This is Bonnie Ann as a munchkin from The Wizard of Oz with Jake as the man behind the green curtain.  We had a Wizard of Oz party with everyone dressed up which was a ton of fun!  Bonnie didn't get to keep that felt lollipop for long though - she kept trying to eat the stick part which seemed like an accident waiting to happen.  So we snapped a couple pictures and then hid it :) 

This past month Bonnie Ann started having a lot of fun with pointing at things.  She'll point at us, at pictures in books she's looking at, at noises that startle her or on things she notices across the room.  She's a fan of it and I must say, it's pretty darn cute!

She has also become a sucker for cuddles - and Jake and I are happy to oblige!  She will come over and rest her head on your knee, or just cuddle in and rest while you're holding her.  She just loves being held (and we're enjoying it too!)

In the beginning of October I ordered a bunch of French baby books and we have been having a ton of fun reading those.  She's even been bringing them to Jake for him to read to her - I guess she likes them!

She loves testing her balance by standing on her own, and on October 17th she really tested her balance by taking her first couple steps!  That night we were home and playing a game of putting toys in my hand after I asked for them.  We did that for a long time (20 minutes or so?) and she was cracking up.  Then she got bored, and since I had just read A Paris Apartment (review to come this week!_ I turned on Les Mis songs and set my phone on the couch.  She had to see what was up there!  She stood up on me and then took a step or two.  So I propped her in front of the couch and a foot away.  She repeatedly took a step or two forward and was SO proud!  Laughing, giggling, PROUD!

Along with walking and pointing, she has also started waving!  The first couple days she would do the backwards wave with her fingers pointing towards herself, but it didn't take long and she flipped her hand around and waved like we do.  Now she will wave goodbye or just wave for fun!  

On the 27th Bonnie had her first big fall and it scared me half to death!  One minute she was standing up just fine and the next she had plopped to her butt and bit the inside of her lip in the process.  I wasn't sure what she had hurt until a little while later, but I knew she had done something because she was screaming her lungs out and her mouth was full of blood - not something I ever wanted to see!  Luckily it wasn't anything bad, though, and it wasn't long until she was crawling around and playing with Jake and I.

Her first art project - an easy, clean way to finger paint by putting a paper with paint inside a plastic bag.  She wasn't too sure about it, but it was fun to play with for a little bit.  

Eleven months - it just doesn't even seem possible.  In just a month I'll be back posting about her turning a full year old - aaah!  It's going by too quickly!


What I Read: The Husband's Secret

Full disclosure on this book is this:  I don't remember much of it.  Generally I will do my write-ups on books a week or so after I have finished it, because this gives me time to fully process what I read and put my thoughts together.

Clearly, this span of time was a bit too long for this book, because when I sat down to write my review I remembered liking the book, but I didn't remember much about what happened.  I honestly couldn't even remember what the husband's secret was!  (Luckily I was able to remember without needing any help from Google.)

The Husband's Secret Review

Anywho, on to the review!  This book was written by Liane Moriarty (she also wrote the book Big Little Lies, which I have seen mentioned in several magazines as being a must-read.  I haven't read it yet, but perhaps soon!)  

The Husband's Secret is based on the fallout that happens after Cecilia reads a letter written to her by her husband many years earlier.  A letter he had written with a "to be opened after I've died" intention.  A letter he later wanted to destroy.  A letter he lost, that she found.  A letter that she read.

Reading this letter has a huge impact on their life, but it is also closely linked to several other characters that we meet throughout the course of the book.  There is a grandmother who is grieving the loss of her daughter, and there is a mother who is grieving the loss of her marriage and family life after a betrayal that rocks the solid ground she thought her life was built on.

I enjoyed this book while reading it, and once I remembered what happened I still believe it was a good book.  There were some things that seemed a bit too cliche, but overall I enjoyed the writing, the story, the characters and the act of reading the book.

The Husband's Secret Review

I would give this book a 3/5 stars, simply because it didn't make a very large impact on me.  It was a good book, but wouldn't necessarily make it onto my list of books that I feel like I need to shout from the rooftops.  Though, if I had done that, perhaps I'd remember it better?