Tuesday, June 25, 2019

How Keto Gave Me My Mojo Back After Months of Failure



Today's good mood is ABSOLUTELY sponsored by ketones!  I'm 10 days into my Keto journey and while I have a headache and needed to sleep for about 10 hours last night- I otherwise feel better than I have in YEARS. And I'm super excited because the minor discomfort that I'm experiencing means one thing-- I'm heading into ketosis and there is a pot of gold waiting for me on the other side. 


You may remember a little blurb that I posted in February. I explained that after having gone on anti-depressants the previous fall, that I had put on quite a few pounds and was determined to lose the weight. I was feeling so down on myself. So disenchanted with life and honestly I felt like a fraud because I own and operate a fitness meal prepping company while I, myself, was not the portrait of fitness. That's a lot of pressure! 

I ended up changing my direction entirely. The life-changing medication that I had been prescribed that put those dark thoughts at bay and helped put a smile on my face. 

I ditched them. 

And decided to go full-on holistic. 



I've been slowly adding exercise and meditation (instead of medication) into my days. And once we returned from vacation I knew I was ready to buckle down and really make a commitment to my health. I was tired of the hamster wheel and giving in to my cravings. And I was tired of wearing black leggings every single day so that I didn't have to confront my weight gain.I had been following Keto transformations on Instagram for months but I always thought that with being vegetarian-- it would be out of reach for me. 

I couldn't have been more wrong. 

In 10 days I'm already down 5.5.lbs and my bloating is GONE. Bloating is the one thing that I have ALWAYS struggled with. It seemed to have gotten worse after I had a C-section with both children. I kind of chalked to up to something that I would be stuck with forever. Until now.  

I have:

-ZERO CARB CRAVINGS
-A SUPPRESSED APPETITE
-MASSIVE ENERGY (WITH BRIEF PERIODS OF FATIGUE AND HEADACHE)
-CLARITY
-FOCUS
-A FANTASTIC MINDSET
-PEP IN MY STEP
-GENERAL SENSE OF WELL-BEING 


Above you will find a food list.  For anyone that's a vegetarian, like me, my protein staples have been Tofu (Trader Joe's brand is 0 net carbs), Morningstar Vegan  Bacon Strips and Eggs. Protein shakes are great, too. Start with a small menu. You don't need a huge variety of foods to get started. You will end up over-complicating and over-shopping which will result in dumping a lot of leftover food. 

My biggest piece of advice is to plan ahead by building meals into MY FITNESS PAL. 



My Fitness Pal will be the most important tool of your entire journey. This is where you will find nutritional information on foods do not have labels and where you can track your carb intake- which is critical to entering ketosis. I keep my carbs at 35g or below each day. I also fast anywhere from 12-16 hours daily. Digestive rest is an important part of the weight-loss process as well. 



This was last week's menu that I created for myself and followed perfectly:

Sunday: Veggie BLT Bowl with Cauliflower Mac N Cheese, Orange Tofu Bowl with Green Beans and Cauliflower Rice. Snack- 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1 avocado, 1 tomato, 1 TB feta cheese with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. 

Monday: Orange Tofu Bowl with Green Beans and Cauliflower Rice, Naked BLT Bowl with Spring Greens. Snacks: 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1/2 cup Cottage Cheese, 1 cup Strawberries, Coffee with Toasted Mocha Marshmallow Creamer- 1 TBSP

Tuesday- Orange Tofu Bowl with Spaghetti Squash, Naked BLT Bowl with Spring Mix. Snacks: 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1/2 cup Cottage Cheese, 1 cup Strawberries.

Wednesday- Orange Tofu Bowl with Roasted Butternut Squash, 2 Egg White Thins with American Cheese and Vegan Bacon. Snacks: 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1/2 cup Cottage Cheese, 1 cup Strawberries.

Thursday- Orange Tofu Bowl with Roasted Butternut Squash, Puerto Vallarta for Dinner- I asked for a plate of sautéed veggies and an order of queso. Dumped the queso on the veggies. No chips and salsa but it was an easy pass.  Snack- 2 TBSP Peanut Butter.

Friday- Huge Cobb Salad, Red Pepperoni for Dinner- I asked for a small greek salad and a personal veggie deluxe pizza. I only ate the toppings on the pizza-- not the crust. No snacks on this day. 

Saturday- Mexican option at the food court in the mall: I asked for a container of sautéed veggies, queso, sour cream and guacamole. Snacks: 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 2 ounces of Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese 





Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Enter the World of Peloton


In a recent blog post, I mentioned that I purchased a Peloton bike. I had several people who were on the fence about a potential Peloton purchase reach out to me and ask me to provide some feedback about the bike after it was delivered. Now that I've had the bike for a little over a month now, I've got 18 rides under my belt and I'm ready to dish on all things Peloton!

| Ordering Your Peloton | 

Confession: I impulsively ordered my Peloton in the parking lot of Harbor Freight, of all places. That's how easy it is to order your bike. I had spent the day at Mane Alley, getting my extensions maintained, and the owner of the salon was raving about her Peloton. I had seen all the commercials and I had read a few things here and there online about the bike but I had never spoke with anyone who actually owned one. She described all of the classes you can take, live or encore. The white glove service once the bike is delivered, how little space it takes up and on and on. If you know me personally, then you know if have a bad case of:

I see it.
I like it.
I want it.
I got it.

I was sold. Completely sold. We went to dinner afterward and then on to run some errands. We ended up at Harbor Freight and 'Peloton' was cycling over and over in my mind. If I was going to take the plunge, I was going to do it now. I told Tyler I was going to sit this one out. Harbor Freight = BORING. So, I quickly Googled 'buy a Peloton bike' and I had it purchased and delivery scheduled by the time he got back to the car. SO IMPULSIVE, YET SO EASY! LOL.

Ok, I know what you are asking. How much was it? Well, that depends. I purchased the 'Family Package' which provided Ty and I both a set of spin shoes (they are so cool, they actually lock into the bike's pedals), 2 sets of ear buds, 2 heart monitors and 2 glass water bottles. Your bike also comes with a mat and a set of light weights. More on the weights in a bit.  All in all, my Peloton was a little over $2800.00, with white glove service at delivery. You can explore all of the different price packages here.


The Family Package

One other key thing to note is that in order to stream classes, you do have a monthly fee of $39.00. That is a MUST HAVE in order to enjoy all that your Peloton has to offer. 

| Delivery |

A company called XPO Logistics will contact you regarding delivery. The turn around time for my bike was three business days. I ordered it on a Saturday night and it was in our house and assembled by noon on Wednesday. I had no real issues with the delivery other than a courtesy call that my address kept taking them to a storage unit LOL. Ty met them at the house and said that assembly was quick and easy and they took all the packaging with them, you are left only with your new, shiny, fully-assembled Peloton.

| The First Ride | 

I had no idea what to expect for the first ride and I was a little terrified to be quite honest. The shoes that you order through Peloton actually clip into your pedals. You are essentially trapped on your bike until you clip out. I tried a 20 minute BEGINNER RIDE and O-M-G.... I felt a combination of victorious and nauseous when I completed the ride. These classes are INTENSE. Even beginner level will have you questioning your level of physical fitness. I was absolutely pushed to my limits on the beginner ride. The energy was amazing, the streaming quality impeccable and the instructor was so encouraging. There are thousands of classes to choose from that are different lengths, ability levels and include different genres of music to ride along too. There are lots of different instructors to choose from as well. 

And how cool is this? Once you complete your ride, you have the option to add-on a ten minute ab, arm, or stretching workout to be completed next to your bike. So that's what the weights are for! I've added on an arm workout post-ride and it was super effective. I had just enough left in me to bust it out and I felt this incredible sense of accomplishment once it was complete. 

| Using the Peloton App |

Another amazing thing about this piece of equipment is that you can review your progress, bookmark classes, see your friends' progress-- all from the palm of your hand. The Peloton app downloads straight to your tablet or phone and allows you to access practically everything. 



You will notice that I when I took last week off-- I literally took last week off. It was a ROUGH week in my house. Oy! But this calendar definitely puts your workouts, your achievements-- everything into perspective! I'm averaging cardio about 2x a week now and I'm hoping to ramp it up to 3 in April . 

Also, I would could not fail to include another important aspect of the app:

THE PELOTON BOUTIQUE 


This is where you can get your Peloton Apparel fix. I ordered a few pieces and I can 100% vouch that they are of top quality and totally worth the investment. Shipping does take a couple weeks though, its not the quickest turn around time but the product made it completely worth the wait. 


| One Month Later |

Do I regret my impulse buy? NOT ONE BIT! As a matter of fact, on Sunday I completed my first 45 minute ride. I am still sore but  in the most wonderful way! If you are having a bad week, feel discouraged, need motivation, etc.-- hop on your Peloton and go for a ride. Their instructors are literally head-hunted and hand-selected based on their ability to motivate YOU to bring your A-game to each ride. I read a very interesting article in the New York Times on how the recruitment process worked in selecting their instructors. You can check it out here.

Still have questions about the Peloton? Send a message or drop a comment below and I'll do my best to provide an answer!


Friday, February 22, 2019

Why is creating a habit so hard and Week 2 Recap


This is my favorite quote because it is the cold, hard truth. Nothing will change until you change it. How many pockets of time do you have in your day and how do you use them? How much of that time is wasted by scrolling on your phone or watching mindless shows?

You see, I've become a master of identifying and using small pockets of time throughout my day. For me. its a necessity. Example, I loathe taking my kids to the grocery store. What does my business require? Frequent trips to the grocery store! How do I make this work without losing my mind? Simple, I carve out a pocket of time by leaving 10 minutes earlier on Thursday and Friday mornings. This gives me a 30-40 minute window of time to hit up the grocery store after I drop the kids off at school and before I need to arrive at work. It works perfectly, plus the grocery store is empty at 7:50a.m and I can whizz right through. By creating this habit, I've turned something I dread into a very enjoyable experience. Feeling accomplished first thing in the morning always sets the tone for my day. Which leads me to say...

WHY FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY CAN I NOT GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNINGS AND CONSISTENTLY WORKOUT???????????

I schedule my early grocery trips because my business and sanity depend on it but why can I not do the same for my workouts? This is the one mental barrier that I have been unable to break for years. 

If I could only change one thing in my entire life right now, it would be to have the willpower to be an early riser. If I had just a 20 minute ride or even 10-15 minutes of strength training in each morning, I think that sense of accomplishment would trickle down into other areas of my life and boost my ambition and productivity. But I just can't seem to stick with it.

Can anyone else relate? I'd love to hear your recommendations on how to get an early start each morning. 


So, it is week 2 of my 12 week Road to Redemption as we'll call it. It was a super, crazy busy week of course but I have been very good in sticking to my nutrition. I made these beauties above for Wednesday-Friday lunch. Vegetarian Sausage (what I used in the Sunshine Bowls), Green Beans and Riced Butternut Squash. Yum! This combo never gets old. I've done much better with my intermittent fasting this week and I'm happy to report that I'm down 2 lbs, which is right on track for where I wanted to be this week. 

Since I 've turned 35 I've pretty much ditched putting creamer in my coffee. One, because in the mornings Mama needs something STRONG and secondly, I like to practice a clean fast. Clean fasting consists of only black coffee or tea and water during your fasting window. I usually fast from 7pm-11am. A 16:8 fast. This window works best for me and I'm never starving. Some people practice what they call a "dirty fast"-- this is where you have cream in your coffee, a flavor enhancer in your water, calorie-free energy drinks, etc. I've found that dirty fasting just messes my hormone balance up. I don't feel right, I get significantly bloated-- its completely eliminates any of the benefits of intermittent fasting. No thanks. 

Raise your hand if you buy new workout clothes to keep you motivated to workout 😂 I'm sure these clothes will significantly improve my performance, too! Peloton was having an amazing sale for President's Day so I loaded up. Normally their apparel is extremely expensive but a lot of it was 50% off so I had to take advantage. 

That'll all I have for this week, FitFuel fam. I'll probably touch base in a couple more weeks and let you know how I'm doing. 


In the meantime, I really would LOVE to hear how some of you get motivated in the morning and also any secrets to success that you have built into your daily routine. Leave comment on this post or on our Facebook page. Many others might be wondering the same 😊




Friday, February 15, 2019

Why I Chose to Medicate and Week 1 Recap



As promised, I have committed to documenting the next 90 days as I try and reclaim my metabolism due to the affects of prescription medicine. 




 Left: April 2018, 137 lbs, before Lexapro 
Right: February 2019, 154 lbs. after 3.5 months on Lexapro 


My medication: Lexapro 20 mg



I have no qualms being totally transparent with what I'm taking and why. Lexapro has been a LIFESAVER for me. Last fall was pretty rough for me. I hit a self-inflicted rocky patch in my relationship, I had MAJOR dental work done, the demands of my full-time job which included lots of traveling and training during August and September, the demands of FitFuel, both of my children were diagnosed with ADHD and I was constantly driving to the pediatrician's office every other week and scrambling to get meds filled and administered (a whole new world in our mostly holistic household), constant conflict or absolutely no communication what-so-ever with the children's father. and one of the main reasons-- I have horrible periods. My PMS makes me a hangry, raging bitch. My cramps have required that I leave work and go home for the day on at least one occasion and honestly the entire week leading up to it and the first 1-2 days after are UNBEARABLE.  I attribute A LOT of these events to the close of my 7 year cycle. For more on your 7 year cycle, click here.

So, I made the choice to seek a medicinal intervention. I was 137lbs when I started the medication. As of Monday 2/11/19 I weighed in at 154. That would be a 17 lb weight gain and I was completely shocked when I saw that number on the scale. 

Week 1: What I did differently

After quite a bit of research, I decided on a course of action to reverse the weight gain. I've read that medication can actually reduce your metabolism by 10% so its up to YOU to either change your meds (no way, Jose) or take an active role in your health by critically monitoring what you put in your body and staying active. I implemented a super low calorie diet combined with intermittent fasting this week that's intended to shock my system and get rid of some of the water weight I've been carrying around.  But of course, the minute I have a plan that I'm ready to execute, something gets in the way. Hello, PMS! I don't know about the other ladies out there, but my PMS is insane. But it was even worse before I went on my medication. This week I've been bloated, TIRED AF, craving some carbs and feeling pretty unmotivated. As of this writing, I hit my goal spot on Monday & Tuesday. Wednesday I was so tired that I couldn't be bothered to monitor anything and Thursday was Valentine's Day so, yes, I ate the candy, drank the wine and ate some heart-shaped pizza from Papa Johns. 


But let me just add, I did make a pretty big commitment to my health this week. I purchased a Peloton bike . The bike was delivered on Wednesday and our shoes and accessories arrived yesterday. Peloton is the latest trend in fitness. The bike comes with an enormous touch screen and offers over 10,000 rides to chose from! You can even join live rides and interact with others or opt for scenic rides to relaxing music. I haven't gotten the opportunity to fully explore everything my Peloton has to offer but I'm so excited. Let me just say-- I've never read one negative article about Peloton. I have 2 friends that own one and they both rave about the bike. If you have been on the fence about purchasing a Peloton of your own, send me a message and I can give you a coupon code for $100 off your Peloton purchase. 



In addition to nutrition and fitness goals, I've began to wrap my mind around another area in my life that just, simply put, needs improvement. 

How many of you are nightly wine drinkers? Do you love to relax with a glass of wine in the evening? I'm sure you are either a white drinker or a red drinker. Us wine drinkers usually pick a team and stick with it. Do you often find yourself drinking more than you'd like but you just aren't sure how to stop or cut back? You promise to only drink 1-2 glasses but suddenly the whole bottle is gone. You wake up in the morning, feeling like shit and completely pissed off at yourself because your "relaxing ritual" has turned into a next day hangover, only to go home and repeat the cycle of insanity? Yeah, I get it. This "nightly ritual" has no longer became relaxing or beneficial to me but I do love red wine and I hate feeling restricted or deprived. What I'm learning is that its a battle of your conscious vs your subconscious. I ordered this amazing book that I'm going to share with you. I'm only halfway through the book and my wine intake this week (even being PMS week) has been reduced effortlessly by 50%. Like, I really haven't even tried. It's all about redefining your relationship with wine (or whatever your "relaxing" drink of choice is). It's been amazing and I feel empowered and in control. The author's name is Annie Grace and she completely gets it. Click here to check out the book and read the reviews. If any of this is applicable to your, its worth looking into.

So, that's all I've got for you guys this week! Let's consider Week 1 as "Prep Week"-- next week, I'll be doing the real work. And I'll remember to take some photos of my food. They obviously won't all be prepped FitFuel meals. I do eat "real" stuff from the grocery store, too and I'd love to share with you some of my favorite finds. 

Have a great weekend everyone. Leave me some comments so I know if you liked the article and are looking forward to the next 90 days with me!!! 😊


XO,

Ashlee 


Monday, December 31, 2018

Welcome to the Official Home of FitFuel Fitness and Nutrition, LLC!

Happy New Year's Eve, #fitfuelfam! 

Welcome to our new home! I have been teasing over the last couple months that we had planned to get a fully-functioning website up and running and let me tell you-- the struggle is real! I've finally found a platform that I think suits my level of tech-savviness... or lack thereof. And one that I can easily stay on top of. 

I have the e-commerce site linked to this main page and my next endeavor will be to finish out the menu page. It will be a master page of all the meal preps that we offer, their macros and price. Basically answers to all the questions that people send us! If you aren't a FitFuel customer already, I see how the process can seem really confusing at first. Hopefully this helps to clear things up a bit. 

Also, I'm going to put my journalism degree to good use and bust out some great articles over the next year. Different pieces ranging from my personal fitness and nutrition journey, to clean-eating recipes that you can try at home and also fitness inspired posts. I'm sure Ty has a lot of ideas for the website, too. We hope to create something that's appealing for both men and women. 

We have a feeling 2019 is going to be a HUGE year for us! So why not take it up a notch? Stay tuned, #fitfam! 

-Ashlee & Ty