How to stay healthy on vacation


Brian and I are fortunate enough to work for ourselves, so we can take some pretty spontaneous vacations 😉 Last week, we spent 5 days in Charleston, exploring this AMAZING city.

But of course, it was a tad tough to stay on track with our workouts + our nutrition while in the car for 6 hours, staying in a hotel, and not being in our regular routine.

However, I stuck by my TOP THREE TIPS to help me not completely fall “off” the wagon, and I encourage you to try these on your next trip too.




I LOVE Kind granola bars, unsalted nuts/seeds, Boom Chicka Pop popcorn. We fill our Yeti cooler with ice, LOTS of bottled water, and snacks. This helps us avoid the ominous fast food drive thru’s



C’mon guys. It’ll save you MONEY and is a much healthier option than sodas, sweet teas, or alcohol. We stuck to waters, and though I DID have a few great craft beers, I followed them up with even MORE water.



Almost everywhere you stay  has a fitness center. Or if you’re renting a house, you have space to pop in a workout DVD or stream something online. OR, go for a long walk or run each day. Do SOMEthing to get your heart rate up, particularly in the morning hours, to jumpstart your metabolism.


No matter what happens on your vacation, don’t use it as an excuse to GIVE UP. This is LIFE and it’s not perfect. It’s messy, and sometimes we make poor health choices. But get back to your routine when you get home without skipping a beat. The only way you “fail” on this journey is if you never try again.


Stay healthy this summer, friends!



I Will What I Want.


What does it mean to “will what you want”? I think I saw this saying first from one of my yoga mentors, Kathryn Budig, and it has stuck with me.

To me, willing what I want means being very clear about my goals, and then putting them to ACTION.

I have grown an online business based on action, when no one was looking over my shoulder to make sure I was doing the work, when I wasn’t even making that much money.

I succeeded and will continue to succeed because I have vision, and I take action.

For all of you entrepreneurs.. those who have the goal of someday leaving your day job to pursue your OWN dream, I want to tell you it is 100% possible.

You just have to do the work.

So for me, things started to shift in my business.. even when I still wasn’t quite able to leave my job to pursue what I do, online fitness coaching, full time. I want to share THREE THINGS I did that shifted my mindset & helped me dream bigger.

1.I started WRITING DOWN my goals on a weekly basis.. in the PRESENT tense, as if they’d already happened. I thought clearly about how I wanted my life to look, and then put pen to paper and wrote out what I wanted to achieve. My husband and I also began setting intentions for what we wanted in the short-term (6 months or less) and wrote them down in the present tense. We read these intentions every day and made shifts to them as needed, but the point is– we thought CLEARLY and CONSISTENTLY about what we wanted in our lives.

2. I started believing I was the person who could achieve those goals. I did this, and continue to do this, through personal development. Personal development is not something for insecure people who need self-help. It’s for anyone looking to improve the quality of their life. It’s for anyone who knows how important it is to continue learning, even after graduation. I started listening to audiobooks  & podcasts by Darren Hardy, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jon Acuff, Grant Cardone, Chalene Johnson & Jen Sincero, to name a few. I let the words of people I looked up to get into my head every single day. The more I did that, the less negativity got to me; the less I doubted myself and the task I had before me: to officially, 100% call myself a full time business owner.

3. I showed up to HUSTLE on my dream every single day. Someone once told me you can’t spell “attraction” without “action”. So true. How can I expect to meet new people, new potential clients & friends, if I’m not SHOWING UP? I built my online business when I worked 3 other part time jobs, in the midst of planning my wedding. I had tons of reasons to push my business to the side. But each time my serving shift was slow, I’d sneak to the back and do work. Each evening after my workout when I wanted to sleep, I worked a bit more. You’ve gotta show up. You’ve gotta believe there will be reasons to quit at every turn, and you need to have a shield of ARMOR in your belief system. If you found what you love, you deserve to never give up on it. You work so hard for someone else’s dream & vision.. why would you not put in just as much, or more, work into your own?


You can do anything. And that’s not cliche. That’s how this country was built. People had crazy dreams. People’s ideas were shot down by society. But those people had a vision. They never gave up. The WILLED what they wanted to happen.

My hope for you is that you first identify what you want in your life… acknowledge your passion or spend some time figuring out what the heck you ARE passionate about. And then, decide how that can start to be a bigger part of your life. It will NOT happen overnight. If you go the entrepreneurial route.. you will be busier than you’ve ever been. But I’ll tell you from personal experience, when you reach the point where your passion becomes your business, and you’re able to live in it everyday, the hustle is worth it.

Will what you want.





The Truth about Microwaves (& other things I learned this weekend)

ash floorYIKES.

Yesterday completed weekend #7 of 9 in the quest to obtain my 200 hour yoga teacher certification. But it’s way more than just learning postures & how to teach a class. It’s my monthly dose of inspiration, or thinking/looking at life in a new way, & reminding myself I don’t need to have it all figured out. Life is happening & I have to be present enough to realize that!

But I must say, this weekend was a HUGE eye opener for me. If you couldn’t have already guessed, I’m super into exercise & learning about healthy nutrition. It’s my JOB to be a motivator to other people. The more I can learn about things that harm & also heal the body, the better I can serve others.

We had a nutrition talk this weekend & I want to share 3 things that really resonated with me. Let me preface this by saying I trust my teachers’ research & opinions of what works for THEM, and I also agree with it. I always recommend doing your OWN research before implementing changes (especially if you don’t live alone) & make SMALL changes at a time.

But there are some things in our lives we just don’t need, or need to be cautious of.


  1. MICROWAVES. Don’t use em.dfgfg

Microwaves ZAP nutrients from our food, and can also add carcinogens (aka cancer-causing matter) to the foods we are attempting to heat up. These contraptions just shake up the molecules which causes the food to seem “hot”… minus the nutrients that may have been in there before.

EASY FIX: Heat up your meals, beverages, etc on the stovetop or in the oven. Your health is WORTH the extra few minutes. Make popcorn on the stovetop– it tastes better that way! (In my opinion, anyway).



Tap water isn’t good for us. If you live off of a municipal water supply, there are so many particles and GROSS things in that system.. ingesting it is simply not the best thing we can do. If you live off of well water, you can easily have your water tested so you know what you’re working with.

But if you’re in a city or town & using their water supply, GET A FILTRATION system. Here’s the sad news: Brita filters don’t do much at all. They can remove the big particles from tap water, but the fluoride & chlorine is still very much present (Brita filters can mask the smell of chlorine, but not remove them).

EASY FIX: look into getting a Big Berkey water filtration system:

It easily sits on your countertop, and double-filters your water (pay the extra $20 or so for the additional fluoride filter). Your filters will last up to 18 months for a family of 3). You’ll pay about $300 for the system.. but it’s going to LAST, and it’s going to keep your body much healthier than drinking tap water. & if you’re like me & my husband, we drink A CRAP TON OF WATER. I’m willing to shell out $300 so I know I’m not drinking gunk.

SIDE NOTE: Bottled water isn’t bad. It’s just stripped of EVERYthing.. so it’s “clean”, but you’re not getting any extra nutrients that you would from a double-filtered system. Plus– let’s be nice to the environment & not use a bunch of plastic 🙂




I don’t care if you’re a raw vegan or you eat McDonalds for every meal. What you CAN do right now to start healing your body from the inside out is to start eating more RAW VEGGIES.

Why? We lose some nutrients when we cook our food. You don’t need to make this a big deal, guys. Just add a salad at dinner with fresh, raw veggies (extra virgin olive oil makes a great dressing), add some cut up veggies in a bag with your lunch, have some avocado slices with breakfast.

Raw vegetables (organic & local is even better) will give your body the most nutrients. So don’t think about cutting out things completely or changing your diet altogether, JUST focus on adding IN raw veggies. You can do that, right?


Again– don’t take my word for it– do your own research! But if any of this makes sense to you like it made sense to me.. it’s time to start making some small changes… or, should we say, “upgrades.”



Nutrition is THAT important, huh?

Fruits and veggies

I always used to go with the notion that I could eat whatever I wanted because I “exercised” every day. Meaning I’d go on a  short run, then come home and have 3 big slices of pizza.

Anyone else GUILTY of that?! Yea.. hands up!

It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that it really is all about NUTRITION. Or, as Tony Horton would call it, “what we put in our FOOD HOLE.”

So, as I’m finishing up his newest workout program in a few weeks, I finally decided to REALLY commit to a meal plan. Crazy, right?! Only took 3 years to fully appreciate that my body can’t really change until my eating habits do.

Ash bicep

6 weeks in to this new way of eating and I’m feeling MUCH better. The main thing I’m doing? Eating in MODERATION, but aiming to not eat extra CARBS after lunch.

A typical lunch for me is :


A lean protein (salmon, tilapia, chicken)

A carb (couscous)

A veggie (a favorite  : asparagus with baked almonds)

I worked from home, so it’s easier to prepare these meals. HOWEVER, you can prepare them the night before, or cook in bulk on a Sunday, place into containers, and grab and go for lunch.


DINNER is simply a veggie and a protein. Like chicken and broccoli, or tilapia and green beans, etc.


I give myself a bigger helping of veggies at dinner, but aim to keep the carbs off the plate.

It has been a change, for sure, but it makes sense to me how our biggest meal should really be lunch.. so we don’t overeat at dinner and then go to bed just a few hours later.

My FULL results from this program will have to wait another few weeks, but I can say with tweaking my lunches and dinners — I’ve noticed a difference and I FEEL better. I’ve stuck with Shakeology for breakfast and a few snacks placed in between meals (usually a serving of fruit, or hummus & veggies, or a Kind bar).


There’s no ONE way of eating that will work for everyone, but I’m finally finding what works for me. And hey, maybe pieces of this will work for you too.

Stay tuned for when I reveal my FINAL results after 8 weeks of the 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts and nutrition plan!




Are you ready to be a girl boss yet?

ash comp

You’ve seen my posts, you may have some of an idea of what I do. What’s stopping you from learning more about how to be a business owner yourself?

Before we get to that, I feel like you need to know more about me. I am by no means trying to brag or toot my own horn. I just think you all deserve to know where I’m coming from and how I got here. I always appreciate it when my mentors share their stories. It reminds me that they are real people too, with challenges and struggles and victories, just like me!

My story really starts after I graduated college. I did the whole “Corporate America” thing for almost 2 years. I was not happy, and I dreaded Monday mornings. I was at such a boring place in my life that my best friend and I decided to move 1100 miles away.  It seemed like a fun adventure, but when we actually found an apartment and remembered that we had bills to pay…I was at a turning point. Did I want to work in a new office, different location, still defining my life in a Monday through Friday 9-5? No. Not at all, in fact. I wasn’t all about the whole “sitting in one place for 8 hours a day” thing.

But what else could I do? Well, I got 3 part-time jobs and I HUSTLED.

No, I didn’t sell drugs or do anything illegal. But I did work harder than I ever had before (serving + babysitting + teaching yoga = exhausted Ashley!) While I was running around to all my jobs, I did a lot of thinking. I realized that I’m driven enough to work for myself, without a boss telling me what to do, when to do it, and which days in the year I may have off for vacation. I knew that my long-term goal would be to set my OWN hours, take vacation when I want, and get rewarded for my hard work.

But I had no idea what kind of job would let me do that. By the grace of the universe (Cheers, God) I met a friend who introduced me to network marketing through Team Beachbody. I’ll admit it, I was skeptical at first. I asked my friend a million questions (thanks Hannah!) and she patiently answered me – NO it’s not a pyramid scheme  – YES, people have really made it their full-time income. I already knew I loved the Beachbody workout programs, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to sign up as a coach and at least get a discount on things I was already using.

As I learned more from Hannah and other coaches, I realized just how amazing this company can be. I’ve seen a mom lose 60 pounds in 10 months. I have been side-by-side with my cousin-in-law competing in a mud run, something she thought she’d never be physically able to do, after completing a Beachbody program. I’ve seen my mom have more natural energy with drinking Shakeology since she had to stop drinking caffeine. She works out at age 65 (people seriously cannot believe her age) with these programs.


I remember one night I was talking to my sister on the phone, complaining about my 3 part-time jobs and barely being able to make ends meet. I was feeling stuck and told her that I had no idea what I really wanted to do. She said, “Well, what about Beachbody?” I replied, “That’s not really a job, that just something I love to do.”

💡💡💡I wish I could tell you that I had a lightbulb moment right then, but it took me a while to realize what I just said. Eventually, I did realize that I should be focusing my energy on something that I love…fitness and Beachbody!

Did this all happen at once? Heck no. I wanted to give up lots of times.. when I felt my social media presence was hitting no one, when I invited people to workout with me and never heard back. For nearly 2 years, I had to keep my part-time jobs while I built my business. So I was actually even MORE busy than when I started! But I was also a lot happier. I felt like I was doing something that MATTERED.

Fast forward to the third year that I was seriously working on my Beachbody business – I got married to my wonderful husband, we moved closer to my family in Pennsylvania, AND I started being able to support myself on the income I made from Beachbody. I couldn’t believe it at first. I was one of those people that Hannah told me about – the ones that are FULL-TIME Beachbody coaches! I always knew I’d reach this point. But it wasn’t a leap of faith or luck– it was hard work, it was working from a plan, it was having a CLEAR vision for my life.

I’m helping people from home.. I’m out of my comfort zone everyday, and by all means– I do NOT have it all figured out. But I can tell you honestly, I never wake up with the Monday morning blues, I never feel like my work doesn’t mean something, and my heart has been on FIRE for this opportunity to be a #girlboss.


I know this type of job isn’t for everyone. But I also hope that if any of this resonates with you, you’ll contact me so that we can talk more about it. It’s possible, and I’m living proof. my team, BALANCED FITNESS, is going to the top of our company, because I believe so much in the abilities of my coaches. why NOT YOU TOO!? APPLY HERE

How to stay healthy during WEDDING SEASON

dsfdfCan you feel it?! It’s WEDDING SEASON! It has ARRIVED!!!


I know many of you guys are getting married, are IN a wedding, or are GOING to a wedding from now til September. Am I right?!

So– with all the events, dinners & celebrations, how can you stay on your path to healthy living??

My biggest piece of advice is LIVE THE 80/20 RULE 

chicken lettuce wraps

Eat healthy, exercise, and be on point 80% of the time. Because the 20% in life will happen. 20% shows up at weddings, on a Friday night with friends, at your sister’s bachelorette weekend in Miami.

I personally live by this motto. Actually, I exercise more like 95% — just because I feel better on days I exercise– so I want to feel better pretty much every day.


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Keep a lid on the alcohol.

I know, it’s delicious. And drinks can be so fun & pretty. But over-indulging is really NOT worth the extra calories, not to mention the “blah” feeling you may get the day after (I want greasy food, trash tv, and a sloth-like day if I’m hungover).

Limit yourself to 2 drinks at a wedding… Or if that’s just not gonna happen, at LEAST drink a FULL glass of water after every alcoholic drink. You’ll be staying more hydrated & you may end up drinking less because your belly will be full.



If you can choose your meal, choose a salad with lean protein. Dressing on the side!

If you’re at an event with a buffet, fill your plate up with veggies FIRST, then go back for the extra stuff.

Skip the bread. Save up those carbs for some wedding cake instead!


Most importantly– whatever event you’re at– DANCE!


Dancing can burn a ton of calories. It’s also a good distraction from taking shots or helping yourself to an extra slice of cake.

Get out there and get MOVING.

photo-4 copy 4

And when the event is over, don’t look at yourself & be shameful to your body. Realize you had an amazing time with friends & family. Chug your water, call your workout buddy, and get BACK on track.


The only way you “fail” at your fitness is if you give up and never try again.


Happy Wedding Season y’all! I just so happen to be writing this blog on my 2nd anniversary 🙂 🙂 And yes, we are going to indulge a bit at dinner tonight and I’m ok with that! 80/20!!


You’ve had an epic cheat day/week/ what?


I just got back from a 7 day vacation.. my LONGEST vacation in a very long time. We went on a cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas, then Jamaica, then back. It was AMAZING, and exhausting, and yes.. indulgent.

If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you can literally eat AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. Which is bad for Ash :/ I overloaded on carbs and sweets, especially, and now I’m back home thinking — OKAY. Time to get back on track.

So now you may be thinking– but HOW?! Didn’t I just RUIN all of my hard work these last few weeks/months/years?

Ash Goofy face

Don’t be dramatic! It’s ALL GOOD! Yes, if you give up now and never eat healthy or work out again, you’ll be on a downward spiral. But that’s not going to happen to you. Here are ways to get yourself out of a health funk AFTER an indulgent time:


Let it go. You had a fun trip/wedding/girls weekend/whatever. Time to move on.



Nope. Nope. Nope. I dislike the scale anyway. And if you KNOW you’ve indulged, you probably will see the scale change a little bit, and that will make you even more upset. Don’t do it.



Your first day home, you may still be feeling the laziness of indulging. But you need to MOVE. Go for a walk, get outside, do some yoga.. nothing crazy. Just start get your body in the groove of moving again, and let’s be honest– you probably need to get your insides moving to get some stuff out!




Even if it’s just one meal each day… have a PLAN so that you are getting lean proteins, veggies, healthy fats & fruits back into your diet. Make a PLAN and stick to it!



Now it’s time to start getting back into your routine.. start small like I stated before. But then, get back to the gym, or to your 21 Day Fix DVD’s, or to the routine you follow on Pinterest. Solicit a friend or family member to get back on track WITH you, and have them be your accountability.

Don’t have a routine OR a fit buddy? Then it’s time to APPLY HERE to be in one of my 21 day challenges where I BECOME your coach, you get a catered fitness + nutrition plan, and we are in this TOGETHER.




Stay ACTIVE while on vacation! Pop into a yoga class,  go running on the beach, play tennis with your spouse, run around with your kids.. get MOVING so that you don’t feel as BLAH when we return home.


Vacations should allow us to rest, energize and refocus so we can get BACK to doing what we love when we get home (and if you’re dreading what you do at home, we need to talk …


Meal Prepping 101


I know, MEAL PREPPING can seem so daunting and time-consuming. SO, I’ve created 3 TOP TIPS to get you started on planning & prepping your meals without having it “eat up” an entire day (no pun intended —- okay, maybe slightly intended).



You’ve all heard the saying, “When you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” It’s so true. Think about it. It’s a busy Wednesday at the office. You didn’t pack a lunch, it’s 1pm, and you’re starving. Some co-workers are going to grab fast food, and that’s sounds a whole lot better than the nothing you have prepared. So, you go. You eat. Then you feel BLAH and tired all day, and definitely don’t have energy to work out when you get home.

Meal prepping could have prevented that! I’ll show you 3 easy tips to get started:




Think about your weekly schedule. When can you set aside 1 hour to prep? For me, it’s Sunday afternoons. That means, I’ll have gone to the grocery store that weekend, have turned on some tunes, and am ready to wash, cut, and prep.



Fruits and veggies

Baby steps, right? You don’t need to suddenly be a Top Chef & whipping out crazy recipes. Choose fruit, veggies, some carbs and proteins. If you eat meat, an easy lunchtime meal is baked chicken, sautéed veggies, and couscous.

Also, make part of your meal prepping time to wash & cut ALL of your fruits and raw veggies you’ll use for snacking. Put them in clear containers eye-level when you open the fridge. This way, your eyes will be attracted to the healthy stuff when you have a snack attack.




It doesn’t have to be BORING to plan your meals! Buy a fun chalkboard and write out your meals of the week. Play your favorite Pandora station LOUD as you prep, DANCE, be a little wild!

Speaking of, when I prep it involves baking up chicken (which you can do in the oven or SUPER easily in the crock pot for shredded chicken), washing & cutting fruits and veggies. I also cook couscous or quinoa, and create my meals of the week on a chalkboard that my handy husband built 🙂

Make food prepping an enjoyable experience. When you do that, you’re likely to repeat the behavior.


& you won’t find yourself being roped in to eating junk for lunch… you’ve got your meals all figured out.


Now – start Pinterest-ing some easy healthy meals, get out your grocery list, and start planning for next week!

22 Minute Hard Corps is HERE

What is this new program about?!


So.. it’s Tony Horton. He’s back. Back again. I’m the first to admit I never completed P90x (#triedandfailed).. I dunno, long workouts aren’t for me. I’m busy! I’ve got to get my workout in and keep moving!


^Sound Familiar?!

That’s why I’m so pumped about his newest program- 22 Minute Hard Corps. It’s military-style workouts that don’t require equipment (unless you want to use the sandbag that comes with the program and feel like a bad @$$).

The workouts are cardio & resistance training-focused. And yes, they really are only 22 minutes each day. The program is designed to last for 8 weeks, and there have been some pretty amazing results from the test group:


Okay BUT– can you really get in a workout in 22 minutes a day? Um.. YES.


I had the privilege of working out with Mr. Horton himself as he led some of us coaches through a sneak peek workout back in January. Since then, I’ve been streaming the “sneak peek” workout via Beachbody on Demand– and let’s just say, this picture doesn’t do the amount of sweating I did justice:



I am starting this program from Day 1 on Monday, March 21. Want to join me and get our booties in gear for summer TOGETHER?!

Apply to join my 22 Minute Hard Corps challenge HERE . This month, you get this workout program + eating plan for FREE when you try shakeology– which has been a game-changer for me in my nutrition.

We’ve all got 22 minutes a day, RIGHT?!


4 Foods to AVOID Completely (and what to replace them with)

I don’t like to talk about what you SHOULDN’T be eating, because I really believe there’s room for all foods in your life (within moderation of course).

Even Starburst jelly beans are ok SOMETIMES!

But there are some things that are just so bad for your body, you just have to say no to them!

1) Artificial sweeteners.

You know this, right? Sweet&Low, Equal, and anything with aspartame is BAD for your body. Yes, they are zero-calorie sweeteners. But there are so many other low-calorie options, there’s no excuse to keep using these chemical-filled ones!

Instead: Try using Stevia, maple syrup, or agave when you need a little sweetness.

My favorite…blue agave nectar!

2) Margarine.

People think of it as the healthy alternative to butter, but it’s actually full of trans fats! Not healthy at all! It may be lower calorie, but putting trans fats into your body is not worth it!

Instead: Use a SMALL amount of actual butter, olive oil, or a vegan butter option like Earth Balance.

More regular grocery stores are carrying it!

3) Microwave popcorn.

I was sad when I found out just how bad this is. It often contains palm oil, which is a source of bad fats. Also, the bags are treated with chemicals that have been liked to thyroid disease! Yikes.

Instead: You can still have popcorn! Just try making it yourself on the stovetop or in an air-popper. You can even get a little gadget that will let you pop your own kernels in the microwave. Then you can add whatever spices you want, while avoiding the fat!


4) Pre-made juices and sweetened teas.

Most of the juices and teas that you find on the shelf in your grocery store are filled with sugar. Check out the label sometime. Some of them have even MORE sugar than sodas!

Instead: Water infused with fruit is a great option! Make your own juice at home (if you have a juicer). Brew your own unsweetened herbal tea and keep a big pitcher of it in the fridge.

Grab one of these nifty fruit-infuser bottles!

Like I said, I’m not big on telling you what you CAN’T or SHOULDN’T eat, but these have absolutely no redeeming qualities. When you think about your nutrition as a whole, you’ll find that just reducing calories isn’t the most important thing. The type of calories you put in your body matters!

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