Spicy Asian Cucumbers

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I love eating cucumbers as a snack and I recently made this recipe and I love it!

2 cucmbers

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

—> Peal and slice the cucumbers and put them in a container.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix.  Cover with lid and put in the fridge.  They’re ready after just a couple hours.

I snack on them or toss them into a salad. They don’t last long around here either!

Food Matters: Jicama

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Spotlight on…Jicama!

I just discovered jicama recently and I’m absolutely IN LOVE with it!

Jicama is a root vegetable and has the texture of a radish. It is very mild in flavor and is a little sweet.

Benefits of jicama:

  • Jicama is one of the very low calorie root vegetables.  Its high quality phyto-nutrition profile comprises of dietary fiber, and anti-oxidants, in addition to small proportions of minerals, and vitamins.
  • It is one of the finest sources of dietary fiber; particularly excellent source of oligofructose inulin, a soluble dietary fiber. The root pulp provides 4.9 mg or 13% of fiber. Inulin is a zero calorie sweet inert carbohydrate. It does not metabolize inside the human body, which make the root an ideal sweet snack for diabetics and dieters.
  • It is full of vitamin C; providing about 20.2 mg or 34%  of vitamin C per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful water-soluble anti-oxidant that helps body scavenge harmful free radicals, thereby offers protection from cancers, inflammation and viral cough and cold.
  • Plus. the root provides healthy amounts of some important minerals like magnesium, copper, iron and manganese.

I like to add jicama to my salad for added crunch.  It would also be great with hummus.

21 Day Fix Extreme: Week 2

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I made it through the second week of the 21 Day Fix Extreme.  The second week is the hardest for me because the end still seems far away and it can be hard to stay focused.  Life sent me a lot of stress this week and that’s usually when I get into trouble with my eating.  I usually tell myself that it’s okay to indulge when life is stressful and that I’ve earned it.  But this week I made it through all the stress without cheating once.  It was my daughters birthday and we had cake in the house and my favorite french bread from Safeway but I didn’t have one bite of any of it.  I stuck to the meal plan with 100% focus and that gave me so much confidence in myself.   I was hyper focused on my results, even through the stress.

  I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easier to indulge in cravings when life is stressful than it is to deal with the emotions you’re feeling. But learning to deal with your emotions instead of running to food as a reward is something I need to learn.  I also notice that I eat out of habit a lot.  Certain times of the day my mind tries to pull me to the kitchen.  It’s not hunger but habit.  Life is going to throw every obstacle at you but you have to choose to overcome them all. Sometimes the biggest obstacle you have to overcome is yourself.

Day 1 and Day 15 Before and After Comparison:

21 Day Fix Week 2 Progress

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Day 1 vs. Day 15

Weight: 126.0 and 121.6

Chest: 34 inches and 33

Right Arm: 10.5 inches and 10.25 inches

Left Arm: 10.5 inches and 10.25 inches

Hips: 34.5 inches and 32.5 inches

Right Thigh: 20 inches and 18.5 inches

Left Thigh: 20 inches and 18.5 inches

Waist: 28.5 inches and 27 inches.

Day 15 progress: I’m down 4.4 lbs and 8 inches!!! 

Workout Recaps:

Day 8 – Plyo Fix Extreme:  This workout still sucks.  It’s so challenging and leaves me gasping for breath.  I have been using 7.5 lb weights when doing the jumping plyometric moves.  Each 30 second move leaves me gasping for breath.  This workout is no joke!!

Day 9 – Upper Fix Extreme: I have always loved working my upper body and so this workout is just fun for me.  I started using 12.5 lb weights this week for an extra challenge.  Upping my weights left me a little sore the next day and I loved it!

Day 10 – Pilates Fix Extreme: I absolutely love this pilates workout.  I love that all the moves use a resistance band.  I sometimes feel like I’m being tortured by the band when it’s wrapped all around me but it’s helping me tone my muscles.

Day 11 – Lower Fix Extreme: Oh how I hate leg day!!  I absolutely dread this workout each week because I know it’s going to be so hard.  I started using 12.5 lb weights on this workout too.  Autumn talks about challenging your limits with each workout and that’s been my goal.  I’m trying to push myself just a little bit more outside my comfort zone.

Day 12 – Cardio Fix Extreme: By Friday I was just tired.  I didn’t want to do this workout at all and actually got all my stuff ready but spend 30 minutes talking myself into getting started.

Day 13 – Dirty 30 Extreme: This workout combines upper body exercises and lower body exercises together.  To say that it’s hard is an understatement.  I’m so thankful this workout is done at the end of the week.  The whole time I was doing it I kept telling myself that when I was done with this workout I’d have done all of week 2.  It helped keep me focused.

Day 14 – Yoga Fix Extreme: I skipped this workout again this week.  I don’t like yoga and I know my body needed the rest.

Making the containers work for me: 

I love the container system that comes with the 21 Day Fix Extreme!  It makes planning my meals and portion sizes so easy.  I don’t have to count calories or worry about any numbers.  I just keep track of what I’m supposed to eat each day and eat it.

My plan requires I eat: 4 red (protein), 3 green (veggies) 2 purple (fruits), 2 yellow (healthy carbs), 1 blue (healthy fats), 1 orange (nuts/seeds/dressing).

On Day 13 I started the Countdown to Competition meal plan to lean out.  This plan is based on the concept of “carb depletion” and is designed to help burn through those last stores of body fat – while continuing to fuel your workouts and keep you healthy.  I’m curious to see what this plan does for me in my last week of Fix Extreme.

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I didn’t take many photos of my food this week but here’s a few of the things I’ve been eating:

21 Day Fix Breakfast

This is a staple breakfast for me now that I’m on the countdown to competition plan.  Eggs, veggies and potatoes.

 

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Of course I’m getting in my daily dose of dense nutrition!  I love Shakeology!

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We went to the Olive Garden for my daughters birthday and I stuck to a fix approved meal.  I got a tenderloin and broccoli and it was delicious.  I was so surprised I didn’t even want any of the breadsticks.

Week 2 Results: 

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I’m 34 years old, I’ve had 3 kids and I’m in better shape today than I was before I had kids.  In fact, I’m in better shape than I was when I graduated high school. This program isn’t just about weight loss for me.  It’s about proving to myself that I can have the body of my dreams even after having 3 kids.  I’m working really hard to get abs that I never even had before I had kids.  My body feels fantastic and I’m very proud of the results I’m achieving.  The workouts are challenging me but they’re delivering results so it’s worth all the sweat and tears!

I’d love to help you get in the best shape of your life too!! If you’d like to join me and have me by your side as you do the 21 Day Fix or the 21 Day Fix Extreme, fill out the below application and I’ll be in touch!

21 Day Fix Extreme: Week 1

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I finished the entire Insanity Max:30 program at the beginning of February.  The workouts were amazing and challenged me in so many ways.  I would love to say I had great results during that 60 day program but to be honest I didn’t follow the meal plan at all.  The workouts were so challenging that I fell into the trap of, “I did an INSANE workout and I can eat this and be fine!” I shouldn’t have been surprised when I stepped on the scale last Monday and I was up 5 pounds from my original 21 Day Fix results in September.

I knew that I needed to focus on my nutrition again and I figured it was time to get EXTREME with the 21 Day Fix Extreme.  I love trying new and challenging workouts.  The difference between the 21 Day Fix and the 21 Day Fix Extreme is: harder workouts, a more dialed in nutrition plan that doesn’t allow any cheats.  That means, no alcohol or swaps for treats the entire 21 days.  Gulp.

Day1: Before photos and measurements: 

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Weight: 126

Chest: 24 inches

Right Arm: 10.5 inches

Left Arm: 10.5 inches

Hips: 34.5 inches

Right Thigh: 20 inches

Left Thigh: 20 inches

Waist: 28.5 inches

Workout Recaps:

Day 1 Plyo Fix Extreme: After recovering from the humbling the scale gave me I was ready to tackle this 21 days with all that I had.  I loved following the meal plan in the original 21 Day Fix and I knew that this was what I needed.  The first workout on the calendar is called Plyo Fix.  I figured I’d be fine with this workout because I just did 60 days with Insanity Max:30 and it was all Plyo.  Well, again I got humbled really quick.  This workout combines weights and jumping and was very challenging.  I was cursing under my breath a lot.

Day  2 Upper Fix Extreme: I woke up very sore from Plyo Fix Extreme.  In fact, I was so sore that the stairs were not my friend.  Going up and down them just killed my legs and I was so thankful that the workout for the day was Upper Fix Extreme.  I love working my upper body and I loved this workout.

Day 3 Pilates Fix Extreme: I woke up and my legs were even more sore from that first workout.  The Plyo Fix Extremem was haunting me and I was doing a lot of foam rolling to try and get all the lactic acid out of my legs.  Today’s workout was Pilates Fix Extreme and in the original 21 Day Fix the pilates workout is an active recovery day.  Well, not so much in the extreme.  This workout used a resistance band for all the exercises and was challenging in a different way than the previous days workouts with weights.  I actually really liked it because it was different than anything I had done before.  I’ll take a video next time but it’s lots of moves with the resistance band wrapped around the legs.

Day 4 Lower Fix Extreme: Leg day.  Really?  More legs?  My legs had finally recovered from the torture on Monday and it was time to do Lower Fix Extreme.  I remember the original Lower Fix left me sore too and so I was scared to do this workout.  Thankfully, my legs made it through the workout just fine.  I did mutter some choice words under my breath at Autumn. She loves to work the legs.

Day 5 Cardio Fix Extreme:  I’m so thankful that all of these workouts are 30 minutes long because I can push myself to do them.  It’s easy to tell yourself, “I can do anything for 30 minutes” and that’s usually my mantra for the entire workout.  This workout was Cardio Fix Extreme and I love cardio.  This workout went by fast for me and thankfully I wasn’t too sore from the previous day’s leg work.  I think the more I was using my legs during the week the better it was for me.

Day 6 Dirty 30 Extreme: I never liked the Dirty 30 workout in the original fix so seeing a Dirty 30 Extreme made my skin crawl.  I was surprised that I actually liked this workout and felt very strong when I was finished.  I also started to do the Hardcore 10 minute abs video on this day.  My goal is to do it 3 times a week in my remaining two weeks.

Day 7 Rest: This is the day you’re supposed to do Yoga Fix Extreme but I don’t like yoga and skipped the workout.  I did walk 3 miles with some friends as an active recovery day.

Making the containers work for me: 

I love the container system that comes with the 21 Day Fix Extreme!  It makes planning my meals and portion sizes so easy.  I don’t have to count calories or worry about any numbers.  I just keep track of what I’m supposed to eat each day and eat it.

My plan requires I eat: 4 red (protein), 3 green (veggies) 2 purple (fruits), 2 yellow (healthy carbs), 1 blue (healthy fats), 1 orange (nuts/seeds/dressing).

I keep track of my food intake with this app: the 21 Day Fix Fit Tracker

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I started my week off with a great shopping trip to Costco to get all the foods I need to eat.  I love Costco when I’m on the fix because I need veggies and protein in bulk!

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Here are a few examples of the food I ate during the week.  I usually eat a lot of the same thing every day.  Most meals I have a protein (red) and a veggie (green) and sometimes a healthy carb (yellow).  I added some whole wheat pasta to my salad one day and it was so delicious.  I love to eat tomatoes with my eggs too. My favorite snack is always greek yogurt and veggies.

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs and tomatoes

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Lunch: Turkey Burger and Veggies

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Dinner: Lean ground beef with homemade taco seasoning, whole wheat pasta, veggies and salsa

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Snack: Greek Yogurt and Berries

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I was out and about one day and made sure to plan ahead before I went.  Proper planning is essential when following this meal plan. I never want to get caught without a snack in case my errands run longer than expected.  Shakeology is my portable breakfast and Hummus with veggies is   my go to snack when on the go.

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I even went out to eat one day this week.  I stayed on track with my meal plan and ordered chicken and salad from Red Robin.

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Sunday I did a big meal prep and cooked chicken, veggies and whole grain pasta.  I measured them out with my containers and put them big containers and stuck them in the fridge so they’re ready to eat for the week.

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Week 1 Results:

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Weight: 123.6

Chest: 33.5 inches

Right Arm: 10.25 inches

Left Arm: 10.25 inches

Hips: 33.5 inches

Right Thigh: 19 inches

Left Thigh: 19 inches

Waist: 27.5 inches

Total Loss: 2.4 lbs and 5 inches overall! 

If you’d like to join me in doing the 21 Day Fix or the 21 Day Fix Extreme email me here or fill out the below application:

21 Day Fix On The Go!

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Being on the go doesn’t mean you have to succumb to fast food. The key to success is preparation.

I had a morning of running around and I did not want to compromise on day 3 with the 21 Day Fix Extreme nutrition plan. I took a few minutes before leaving and prepared a few things to bring with me while on the go!
—-> Water…never leave home without it.
—-> Shakeology…my quick breakfast packed with 70 super foods (1 red container)
—-> Hummus and veggies (red and green containers)
—-> an apple (purple container)

A dear friend once told me that prior planning prevents piss poor performance and she’s right! If you’re going to be busy, plan ahead!

Healthy Favorites: What to buy at Costco

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I love to shop at Costco and would choose to go there instead of the grocery store any day of the week.  We eat a lot of fruits and veggies so shopping at Costco actually makes sense when you’re feeding a family of 5.  I can usually throw together several meals just from the stuff I buy at Costco.

Here are my go to favorites:

1. Kirkland Signature Greek Yogurt

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I know I talk about greek yogurt a lot but it’s a staple in my house.  I absolutely love that it’s packed with protein and still feels like a treat when I eat it.  I prefer to buy the Kirkland Signature 2 pack over the Fage container because it’s cheaper and once you open the container you should eat it within 5-7 days.

2. Kirkland Signature Turkey Burgers

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These burgers are another one of my go to staples.  I always have these in my freezer to throw together a quick meal.  They don’t have added garbage to them and they taste delicious!  I eat them bunless with a little mustard.

3. Vegetables:

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Veggies are always on my list when I head to Costco.  I always buy fresh spinach because I can eat through a container that size by myself in one week.  I eat a lot of spinach in salads.  I also get tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots.  I also make sure I have the Normandy Style Veggie Blend in my freezer.  I don’t usually like frozen vegetables but these are great to throw into a meal in a pinch.

4. Hummus

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Between my husband and I, we go through a lot of Hummus.  Its one of my go to snacks and buying it in a huge container just makes sense.  The Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus is mild and goes good with whole grain crackers or veggies.  Sometimes I add some Siracha to spice it up a little bit.

5. Canned Beans and Canned Tomatoes:

I love black beans and they’re cheaper at Costco than at the grocery store.  I also buy my canned diced tomatoes here too.  I keep both in my pantry to add to soups.

6. Turkey

In the deli section I buy a roasted turkey breast that I can slice myself or natural turkey lunch meat.  A turkey sandwich or wrap is a quick lunch that I have often.

7. Pistachios

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Warning: You have to be careful with these pistachios.  They are so delicious that you could easily eat the entire bag in one sitting.  I cannot sit down with the bag or I just keep eating and eating.  I have to take a small handful and walk away from the bag.  They’re my healthy indulgence.

8. Pirate’s Booty

My Costco doesn’t always have Pirate’s Booty in stock but when it does I buy a lot of it.  I have a love for Cheetos and Pirate’s Booty is my healthy version.  This is another snack that can get me in trouble because it’s so yummy.  My kids love Pirate’s Booty too and take it in their lunch when we have it.  We haven’t had it for about 2 months and I hope Costco brings it back soon.

9. Cara Cara Oranges

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My  mom got me hooked on these oranges last year and we’ve only ever found them at Costco.  They’re sweet and tangy at the same time.  The color is reddish and reminds me of the inside of a grapefruit but it’s sweet and delicious like an orange.  If you see these at Costco, pick up a bag!

10. Aidell’s Chicken Meatballs 

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These meatballs are AMAZING and come in a few different flavors.  I really love the teriyaki pineapple ones the best.  I throw them in a skillet with some frozen veggies, add some quinoa or brown rice and there’s dinner.  Simple and easy.

11. Kid’s Snacks

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I buy lunch items for my kids at Costco too.  The Kirkland Signature Soft and Chewy granola bars are a staple around here.  Applesauce in a squeeze tube is another must have.  We also like to get crackers, Tillamook sliced cheese, yogurt and granola to snack on.

What are your favorite things to buy at Costco?

21 Day Fix Approved Dinner

21 Day Fix Food

If you’re looking for a quick an easy dinner check out this is what I like to throw together when I’m in a pinch. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Most of my meals are simple and easy to throw together.

Turkey Burger with veggies and quinoa
– 1 turkey burger patty (I prefer the ones from Costco made by Kirkland’s signature)
– 1/2 cup quinoa
– Veggies of your choice

* Cook the turkey burger according to the package instructions, the ones I buy can be cooked frozen and take 7 minutes on each side.
* Cook the quinoa with 1 cup water, bring to boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. You can use chicken stock if you prefer.
* Saute the veggies in a little olive oil, add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook until desired tenderness.

This meal took me 15 minutes to prepare and tastes delicious!

If you’re following the 21 Day Fix:

1.5 Red * 1 Yellow * 2 Green

My Favorite Shakeology Recipe

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I love Shakeolgoy because it’s a quick way for me to have breakfast on the go each morning.  My mornings are always rushed and I don’t have time to sit down and eat a meal.  But I always have time to throw my Shakeolgoy in the blender.

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My Favorite Shakeology Recipe:

1 scoop of chocolate Shakeology

A splash of vanilla extract

A teaspoon Cocoa Almond Spread

10 oz of water

1 1/2 cups of ice

Blend and ENJOY!!

If you’re wondering what Shakeology is go here

Insanity Max:30

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What is Insanity Max:30?

NSANITY MAX:30 is the challenging new 30-minute, in-home workout program from Shaun T, creator of INSANITY and Focus T25. Shaun T has developed 150 new cardio and strength moves that will make you push harder and dig deeper than ever before to get the best body of your life in just 60 days.

INSANITY MAX:30 will be the hardest 30 minutes of the day and you need to be ready to MAX OUT. It’s not about “getting through” all 30 minutes, it’s about going as hard as possible, for as long as possible, until becoming “MAXED OUT” (i.e. until taking the first rest and/or breaking proper form). No equipment needed… just push to the MAX for INSANE results in just 60 days.

What can I expect?

First off, I can’t even begin to say how excited I am about this program.  INSANITY MAX:30 is a workout where you compete against yourself every single day.  You’re pushing yourself to your limits and seeing how far you can go.  The goal is to MAX out and go as long as you can without taking a break.  When you do take a break you record your time and try to push yourself a little further next time.  The workouts are intense but they’re shorter than most workouts.  You’ll get twice the sweat in half the time. Plus you only have to workout 5 days a week!  There is also a modifier in all the workouts and there is an option on the DVD to have the modifier shown onscreen at all times.  If you tried Insanity but want something with shorter workouts, this is for you!

Can you expect results?  YES!!!! You can expect to lose anywhere from 10-20lbs in the 60 day program! If you follow the workout calendar and nutrition guide, you will see results!  It’s that simple.  As your coach I will be by your side as you go through each workout.  I’ll make sure you’re accountable and motivated.  I’ll support you with your nutrition as well.

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Who is this perfect for?

Anyone can do this workout because it’s You vs. You!!  You are going against yourself!

Anyone who did Insanity before and wants a new Shaun T. Workout.

Anyone who wants to max out with me

Anyone who wants a shorter but intense workout like Insanity.

Anyone who wants something new and wants to jump back into fitness.

How do I get started?

For starters, go to my site  http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/ASHLEYJOY80 and create a FREE account which makes ME your Beachbody coach.  I will be hosting an EXCLUSIVE test group for anyone who would like the support, guidance, motivation and accountability to start and complete the program.

If you want to be part of the test group, submit the application below to be considered for a spot in the group. The group will be only a SELECT group of individuals with are READY TO COMMIT to 60 days of focus and intensity. I will be right there with you to help you navigate the workouts, the nutrition plan, to teach you how to plan your meals, to make it work for your life and most importantly, to keep you accountable.

The group is run through an online closed support group, which means no one but those participating in the group can see what is posted. I WILL NOT LET YOU FAIL! If you will invest in me, I will invest in you, your health, and your fitness. The only cost to you is the cost of the challenge pack which will include EVERYTHING you need to get started

What comes with Insanity Max:30

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The base kit comes with 13 workouts, Nutrition to the MAX guide, MAX guide and the MAX Out wall calendar and a 30 day supply of Shakeology.  My coaching is always included too as well as 24/7 support from TeamBeachbody.com

Deluxe Kit

The deluxe kit comes with 16 workouts, core comfort mat, 7 portion control containers, Shakeology cup, body fat caliper, Nutrition to the MAX guide, MAX guide and the MAX Out wall calendar, 7 day ab maximizer,  NoTime To Cook Guide and a 30 day supply of Shakeology.  My coaching is always included too as well as 24/7 support from TeamBeachbody.com

Merry Fitmas!!

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Would you like motivation and support with your fitness goals through the holiday season? I’m opening up a FREE Merry Fitmas group to help all my friends stay on track with their goals during the month of December.

If you want in the group, just add yourself below. We’ll be starting on 12/1 and it’s absolutely FREE! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in one of my accountability groups this is the perfect time to get in one for FREE!!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/963589927003215/

The average person gains 7-10lbs through this season and it’s my goal to make sure that you don’t have that happen. I think everyone can enjoy the treats of the season while still keeping their goals in mind. We’ll be working out hard, focusing on having 90% good nutrition and still allowing 10% for the yummy treats!