6.17.2013

Protein Shake!

Before a couple months ago, I had never had a protein or meal replacement shake before.  I had never bought the protein powders or other replacement powders and going into a GNC just seemed like something that I would never have a reason to do.  

I paid little attention to health or my diet, and the result was a sluggish attitude and clothes that kept shrinking (really, it was a waistline that was expanding but I told myself the clothes were the culprit). 

Today I seriously get excited for my lunch of Shakeology and I love learning about nutrition and health!  A while back a friend from work let me try the protein shake that she'll sometimes bring it.  I'll be honest, I was skeptical that it would taste like anything pleasant.  I was so surprised when it actually tasted really good!!  The recipe is below - try it out and let me know what you think!  

I definitely would not have this every day - there's quite a few calories in it and it's extremely filling, but on a day when I know I'm going to be running around a lot this is a great thing to pack because it's so easy!  I like to freeze mine so it can thaw while I'm running around so by the time I'm hungry it's a perfect milkshake consistency!  This plus my Shakeology and I'm a happy, healthy & non-hungry girl on those busy days!



In a blender, combine the following ingredients and blend until smooth:

6 ice cubes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup juice (whichever kind you prefer!)
1 6oz container yogurt (again, whichever you prefer!)
1 egg
1 scoop protein powder (I like the vanilla, but it's really whichever you prefer - surprise!)
1 handful spinach
1 cup frozen fruit

I pour all mine in a shaker cup from GNC and stick it in the freezer until I'm ready to go - it's perfect!

Let me know what you think if you try it!


6.16.2013

Afraid of what?

How many times have we all been asked what our biggest fear is?  It's a question that gets asked so often that a lot of times we don't even have to think about our answer before we give it - spiders, heights, small spaces, failure.  Failure is one that is used a lot for applications, essays, or just if you want to sound really dedicated and motivated to do your best in life.  If you want to impress someone it's easy to say, "my biggest fear is failure" because that must mean that you don't fail very often, right?

I beg to differ.  I'm not saying that people aren't afraid to fail.  I think  most of us are.  We want to succeed, we want to do our best and we want to have other people notice it.  But, at the end of the day, I think more people are more afraid of success than they are of failing.  We try so hard until it hits a snag - and then we stop.  We throw our hands in the air and give up and say that because we stopped ourselves, we didn't really fail, so our fears weren't realized.
  

How often is it probably true, though, that if we had just pushed a little harder, given it just another couple tries, we would have succeeded?  That today we could say I DID THAT rather than just letting it drop to the wayside.  We stop our own progress because we know, somewhere deep down, that if we really tried and really pushed, we could do it.  We could succeed beyond what we can even imagine, and we'd amaze ourselves and everyone around us.  

But it's hard, and it's scary, because once you succeed you want to keep succeeding - and it's scarier to lose something you've already had than to lose something you haven't yet had.  So we stop ourselves, make excuses and say it's just too hard, or too much money, or too much time, or we want to try something else.  


This quote is from the book The Help, and ever since I first read it it has stuck with me - I think we all have to stop believing what foolish people say about us - and we have to realize that sometimes WE are the foolish people saying things about OURSELVES!  

We are all capable of doing so much more than we believe are can do.  Today I'm going to do my best in everything I do, and then I'm going to do a little bit better than my best - because I don't think we realize how good our best can really be :)  





6.12.2013

Healthy Kids




Last night my husband and I got to meet our newest nephew - Adam! He was born about a week ago and he is just the cutest little thing! Meeting him really got me thinking about the things that each one of us teach the kids in our lives. Whether we are parents, aunts/uncles, neighbors, teachers or just friends we almost all have some kids that look up to us. What kind of example are we setting for them?

Do we teach them that eating healthy is important, until you're tired, rushed for time or in a bad mood? Do we teach them that exercise is FUN and something we do everyday, or do we teach them that watching tv comes before exercise and exercise only comes if we can fit it in? Do we teach them that it's ok to say you don't want that drink or dessert instead of filling your plate and glass with everything offered?

Whether we realize it our not, kids look up to us and it's our responsibility to not only ourselves, but to THEM to live the kind of life we'd like to see them live when they're grown! What kids do you have in your life? Are you setting a good example?

I know that I am blessed with a bunch of nieces, nephews and children of friends', and I also know that for a long time I wasn't setting a good example!  I was living a lifestyle that had too much of all the bad foods, no exercise and not enough of the good foods!  I wasn't putting myself anywhere near the top of my priority list, and if they looked up to me that's what they would have learned!

I'm changing my life now, and I KNOW that I'm being a better example for them, and that makes me so proud of myself!  

There are a couple spots left in my June Challenge Group if you'd like help in becoming the best example you can be!  Email me at ashleykrek@gmail.com and we can get started TODAY!!! Why wait?


6.10.2013

Watery Wonders

Water, water, water.  That seems to be one of the buzzwords in the health/fitness world lately.  Drink water, drink water, and then drink a little bit more water!!  Some people find it extremely difficult to drink water throughout the day and some people spend their whole day sipping on Pepsi or coffee and never get around to their reusable water bottle they've been carrying around for weeks, which they have to empty every morning and refill because they didn't so much as open it up the other day. 

So, what's the big deal?  Is there really a difference between soda and water, and is water really worth the 25 trips to the bathroom we all have to take?

Yes and yes!!!  There is a huge difference, and it's SO worth it!

Unlike pop or coffee, water hydrates us!  Water is so central to our physical make up that we need to keep fresh supplies coming in to keep everything working and running as well as it can be.  The fact that bathroom breaks become more frequent just goes to show that our body is cycling through the water and cleaning us out!

Some people wait until they're know they're thirsty to drink water.  Until the brain is seriously screaming at them to get a drink!  It's not healthy or good for our bodies to make our brains resort to begging us to give it some h2o!  Dehydration started long before we truly felt thirsty, so we should try and be proactive with it!

Some of the signs that we are getting dehydrated?  We have headaches, mood swings, we are lethargic, confused, have dry lips or are constipated.  A lot of these things happen to some people every darn day!

They're reasoning for them is the afternoon slump, or that they must be tired, or even they're hungry!  Chances are high that hunger or fatigue has nothing to do with it - it's our bodies response to not having enough water!  

Try this for the next week, I guarantee you'll feel so much better than you do today!!





6.06.2013

Problem becomes Solution

Today when I got home from work I had no desire to work out, I'll be completely honest.  I was so cold that the last thing I wanted to do was get out of my sweater and into a tank top!  I avoided the workout for a little bit by checking in with my challenge groups, but that wasn't going to last all night.  So, after a bit of dragging my feet I changed my clothes, laced up my sneakers and starting shaking my bum bum to Cardio Axe from Brazil Butt Lift.

This was THE perfect workout to choose!  It is a bit of a dance, it's cardio, and it shows people working out on the beach!  I was not cold after doing this workout I can tell you that much!!

This whole evening got me thinking.  It is so easy to decide that we're not going to do what we said we wanted to do.  We have a bit of a bad day and we let that decide for us what today will be like!  I talked about this a bit in yesterday's post, but today I thought of it differently - how can we change that little voice in our head that tells us "no!"  I think one solution is to pre-arm ourselves with reasons why that "no" is wrong and what we can do to combat it.  So, here's a handy-dandy visual aid I made - what do you think?


These are ways that I'm prepared for days when my mind is trying to derail my plans - whatever problem I can come up with, I have a solution there!  At the end of the day, I'll be so much happier if I stick to my goals rather than stick to my excuses.  

If you are feeling unmotivated or not sure where to start, I'd love to help you!  Email me at ashleykrek@gmail.com and we can start turning your excuses into your triumphs!!

And in case you're interested in sculpting a Brazilian Bum Bum, check out Brazil Butt Lift!

6.05.2013

Enemy Excuses

The post that I'm about to write has been on my mind for weeks.  I've thought about writing it, but I really wanted to get the jumble of ideas in my head figured out before I tried to write them out.  I think I'm to the point that they'll actually make a bit of sense, so I'm going to try :)

The topic at hand:  excuses.  We've all heard them and we all make them.

Don't want to go to the party?  "Sorry, I'm just really sick."

Don't feel like working out? "Oh gosh I just seriously have no time."

Don't want to make a healthy dinner? "I'm honestly so exhausted I can't handle it - I'm just going to get pizza for tonight."

Excuses are common - I'm sure each one of us makes one at least once a day, and probably more.  As I've been trying to change my health, lately, I've thought about excuses a lot!  What I've realized is that excuses can be perfectly fine - to a point.  But excuses can also be self-destructive and painful, for both ourselves and others.  



I know, it seems extreme, but I really do believe that excuses can be a really bad thing.  Let's say that my goal is working out six nights a week.  Here's how my week, with excuses, could easily go:

Monday:  Awesome workout!  Whoo hoo!
Tuesday: Oh my goodness.  Seriously so sore from yesterday.  Going to park at the far end of the parking    lot at work and call that my exercise for the day.
Wednesday:  Had a really bad night of sleep and a late night at the office.  No way can I work out.
Thursday: Haven't worked out since Monday.  I'll do it tonight.  Not that I want to.  But I will cause I promised myself I would.
Friday:  Have dinner with friends and didn't get home in time to workout before.  Will work out later.  11pm comes - just walking in the door - really full, little tipsy, absolutely not working out.
Saturday: I've tried pretty hard this week, and my kid has activities all day long- here I am, Mrs. Chauffeur!
Sunday: Bad week, chalk it up to a learning experience, will do better next week.  Have to get errands done that I didn't do yesterday - no workout today.

And every week after this, our workout (or whatever our goal might be!) schedule is half completed at best. We make excuses for ourselves and we don't stick to what we want.  We're trying, but we're not really trying.  And it is because of this half-assing it attitude we get that I believe excuses can be dangerous.  The excuses that we repeatedly allow ourselves to make become justifications.  

If we have 3 busy nights at the office over a couple of weeks and skip our workout every time, eventually a busy day at the office will no longer be an excuse in our mind - we've justified it!  Maybe we tell ourselves repeatedly that we're too "busy" to workout, and we have a list a mile long of what we did each night that made the workout impossible to fit in.  99 times out of 100, though, we could have fit in the workout if we really wanted to or really tried to.  But in our mind we've made the justification already - I'm busy, therefore the workout becomes least important.  Creativity with our schedule isn't something we try, because our reason for not doing it is completely justified!  We can't do anything about it - we're simply too busy.  

I don't buy it anymore. 

We say that we want to change, we want to improve, but when that becomes hard we have all these made-up justifications to fall back on that we don't actually push through and change our lives into what we want them to be!    What we tell ourselves to be a fact, becomes one in our life.  

We can do SO MUCH MORE than we give ourselves credit for.  But instead of giving ourselves credit, we give ourselves excuses, and we become our own worst enemy!  

Believe me, I've been as guilty of this as the next guy!  It's not easy to change, and it's scary to really put our best foot forward and try to make the change.  It's less scarier and much easier to say "well, I'm trying to try, but life gets in the way and won't let me."  Our excuses become our justifications, which become our truth.  

What do you think?  


6.04.2013

Hard Boiled Confusion

In Eating Clean, one of the recommendations is to include a source of protein at every meal.  My favorite source of protein?  Egg whites!! 

I could probably eat egg whites at every single meal and not get sick of them.  They're tasty, cheap and easy to make!

I used to get frustrated making them, because I didn't remember how long to boil them and how long to let them sit before putting them in cold water.  (No joke, I would call my mom every time I wanted to make them in college!)

Not anymore, folks.  Not anymore.  Ashley has grown up into a real adult and can officially make hard boiled eggs without her mother's help.  (Not to lead you to believe I now understand the boiling and sitting times - that's still completely foreign to me). 

So, how do I do it then?  I cook my eggs.  In the oven.  So they are hard-boiled eggs, with no water involved!  Lovely.  It's simple, easy and still pretty darn quick!  If you haven't tried it out yet, I suggest you do! 



Here's what you do:


  • Preheat the oven to 325.
  • Grab a muffin pan and put one egg in each cup.
  • Then put the muffin pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • While they're baking, fill the sink or a bowl with enough cold water so all your eggs can fit in it!  (This is one time it's perfectly acceptable to have all your eggs in one basket.)
  • After the 30 minutes has passed, put the eggs in the cold water and let them sit there for 10 minutes or so!  
Then you have great hard boiled eggs that are EASY!!! Sometimes there will be brown spots on the shell, but it does no damage to the egg and most of the time it will wash off in the cold water!

Have you ever made them this way?

6.03.2013

La Soupe!

Do you ever get home from work, workout, maybe do some laundry or get caught up on other chores, and then realize it's time for dinner?  You're really mentally kicking yourself because you should have thought about that before you did some of those chores, but of course you weren't hungry then so food didn't even cross your mind! And now, here you are, it's 7 o'clock, your stomach's grumbling, you're not really sure what you want to eat but you want it to just be ready right now.

In all honestly, this is the story of my dinner time.  Call it a broken record, if you like, but it's true that this has happened more often than I'd like to admit.  Some people are amazing chefs, love to try new and exciting recipes and don't think twice about spending two hours a night making a first-class, incredibly beautiful meal.

Me, not so much.

I have figured out a way to cheat the system, though!  My trick of the trade is this - pre-make, re-heat.  I spend time on Sunday making something that I can eat for dinner for the next couple of nights - then by the time Thursday comes around I'm ready to cook again, so I'm happy to do so!  (Though of course I still make quick & easy Clean meals, because I'm not Julia Childs!

Here's what I made on Sunday - and to be completely honest, it's awesome.  It's light, but filling.  Clean & healthy. Cheap.  Easy.  Quick.  Basically everything a meal should be!

I'd give you the recipe for it, but here's the catch - there isn't one!  Nope, no recipe, no rules.  Which may give some people a severe case of being anxious, but trust me - it's a good thing.

Whichever day you want to make your soup, round up all the fresh vegetables you have in the house (or go to the store and buy your favorites!  Anything goes, guys.  Anything).

Mine had celery, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and onion and some garlic - but each time it's a bit different!

Chop them up.  Put them in a pan with some water, and add whatever spices you prefer!  Put them on the stove.  Cook them on medium until they're fully cooked - just let them simmer while you do your other chores & in a couple hours they'll be good!

In my house, I then split this into 2 containers - one is for my husband and this soup stays exactly as it was on the stove.  The other is for me, and I take an immersion blender to the soup and make it into a puree - and there's my soup!  It's amazing!  There's a big story behind why I make this puree, but that's for another day.  I'll tell you it involves France - which means it must be great, non?