Why Should Women Lift Weights?

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There are so many reasons why women should lift weights, but I’ll just share some TOP reasons:

*Lifting makes us more toned. Even if we “gain” weight, we look smaller! (so no, lifting won’t make you bulk, ladies)

*You burn more calories during your CARDIO workouts if you have more muscle!

*You burn more FAT if you have more muscle!

*Muscle is the fountain of youth … go get you some! 

My favorite lifting workouts: ChaLEAN extreme, Body Beast, and the 21 Day Fix Extreme 

Happy Spring!

Can you believe it’s Spring, already?  

This delicious salad is perfect to make in a large batch. It will hold in the fridge for about a week without the dressing. Or, if you like to prep your meals for the week, you can also store the salad in individual containers and pack your dressing on the side. 

Today’s recipe is:
Spring Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

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Ingredients:

Salad:
1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and shaved
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup roasted, salted almonds
1/2 cup crumbled Goat Cheese 

Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about juice of 2 large lemons)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/16 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Directions:

Salad: In a large bowl, combine the Brussels Sprouts, dried cranberries, almonds, and goat cheese.

Dressing: Combine the lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard, oil, vinegar, onion powder, and salt in a blender. Mix until smooth. Add the poppy seeds and process just until combined. Place in a container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

When ready to serve, top salad with dressing and serve.

Simple, Healthy, & LOW-CARB! What?!

Are you looking for a twist on a traditional spaghetti recipe? This spaghetti squash recipe is not only simple and healthy, but LOW-CARB, too!

Today’s recipe is Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash:

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Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

For the Spaghetti Squash:

  • 1 (2-3 pounds) spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
2.  Cut the squash in half lengthwise from stem to tail and scrape out the seeds. *Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
3.  Place squash, cut-side down, onto the prepared baking dish. Place into oven and roast until tender, about 35-45 minutes.
4.  Remove from oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.
5.  Using a fork, scrape the flesh to create long strands.
6.  Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
7.  Stir in vegetable broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until melted and smooth.
8.  Stir in spaghetti squash and gently toss to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes.
9.  Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan and garnished with parsley, if desired.

How Often Do You Meditate?

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Isn’t meditation weird?! No, it’s awesome 😋

I never used to meditate. I also used to be highly reactive, impatient and on autopilot for 90% of my day. Then I started meditating for 10 minutes a day, and I started to find more space & peace.

Meditation isn’t religious. It’s you, taking time to stop, feel, and breathe. There’s also scientific evidence that shows regular meditation over time can start to heal & strengthen synapses in the brain. Yes- meditation rocks!

SO. Your challenge is to find 10 minutes today to meditate. If you already know what you’re doing, great! Do it today.

If you’re new, I’m going to make it super easy for you. Download the app HEADSPACE on your phone. It’s a free app, and there are 10 free guided meditations available. The guy speaking is calm, friendly and gives you an easy 10 minutes of getting present.

Make sure you:
✔️go to a space where you can be uninterrupted for 10 min
✔️sit in a comfortable position
✔️make sure all notifications / sounds are turned off on your phone

Now… GO MEDITATE! 

Tired of the Same Boring Sandwich?

Are you tired of eating the same boring sandwich or salad for lunch? If you answered “yes”, you’re in luck! These chicken avocado spring rolls are easy to make and a perfect lunch for anyone, even kids! 

Today’s recipe is Chicken Avocado Spring Rolls:

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Ingredients:

  • 12 rice paper wrappers
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 8 ounces free range chicken or turkey breast, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and thinly sliced

For the spicy peanut sauce:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha

Directions:

1. Working one at a time, wet rice paper for 10 seconds and transfer to a work surface. Place arugula in the center of each wrapper and top with cucumber, carrot, chicken/turkey, red onion and avocado. Bring the bottom edge of the wrap tightly over the filling, rolling from bottom to top until the top of the sheet is reached, being careful not to tear the rice paper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

2. To make the dipping sauce, whisk together peanut butter, water, hoisin and Sriracha in a small bowl.

Enjoy 🙂

What to do When Motivation Leaves You

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We all know the days where we just wake up, CRUSH our workouts, eat healthy, have success in business… and essentially just freaking WIN the day, right?

But what about the days where we feel just so BLAH and UNMOTIVATED?

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Well, my friends, that’s where HABIT kicks in.

I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I was going to be a person who exercised 6-7 days a week, focused on healthy nutrition, and read or listened to something everyday that would help facilitate a positive mindset.

I developed small HABITS, over time. I started with fitness. I found a workout I could do at home (I had the opportunity to go to a gym but never did), printed out the calendar, hung it on my closet door, and gave a huge, satisfying X on each day I did my workout.

It wasn’t perfect, or pretty, or every day, but I was establishing a habit.

My next step was to focus on healthier foods. I had no formal training in nutrition – but I knew the basics. I started getting rid of packaged, processed foods. I started drinking more water. I started drinking Shakeology for a meal, especially to help keep my vitamin & vegetable servings up.

Then, I started surrounding myself with other people who had similar goals. 

It is MUCH easier to stick with something when you know someone’s got your back, right? I’m confident enough to admit I wouldn’t be in nearly as good of shape now if it weren’t for the ladies who have kept me accountable these years. I don’t meet with them in person; I check in with them online — but even that gives me a sense of being a part of something bigger than myself. We are so much more willing to give up on ourselves than on other people, right?

Then.. HERE’S THE BIG SECRET!!! 

I just repeated those behaviors.. day in and day out. When I had a bad day, I got back on the wagon the next day.

Is it easy to do? YES. But it’s also easy NOT to do. 

Over & over again I hear the saying “Successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.” It couldn’t be more true. If you want something, you just do it – even if the motivation isn’t always there, and you do it daily. Of course, you want to step back every so often and make sure you’re on the right path for YOUR life + your goals, but then it’s time to get to work again.

 

So yes, even pregnant, even growing in size… I still do my workouts.  I still eat healthy. I still read or listen to something that will improve my mindset. I still show up to help other people.

Sure I’m motivated more some days than others — but now I do it because it’s HABIT, and it’s what will keep pushing me along the success curve, rather than the failure curve.

Maybe this wasn’t the answer you were hoping to hear, but I can tell you it’s the one that works.

Show up, and never give up. Just. Keep. Swimming.

More next week!

XO

Ash