Be a Carni/Veg/Raw/Paleo-ian!

10 Steps to Eating Perfectly Healthy Kind of how I feel…lol. There are so many rules and plans people tell you to follow that it’s all so overwhelming to pick what’s best for you and your goals…essentially, everything ends up not being okay to eat if you go through all the studies and all their […]

I am Obese

Today I found out for my height, my weight by national standard falls under the “Obese” category. I am 5′ 5.5″ and currently 180-183lbs. I never thought I could say that, but I am. I have struggled with my weight since the summer of 2011 when my family began to fall apart and I left for college almost 200miles away from my brother and sisters. My boyfriend at the time was dragging me down. With time, my family got better, I ditched the unhealthy relationship, I am now graduated from college and have a wonderful fiancΓ©…but the weight hasn’t left. Let me just say, I do not suffer from any weight related health issues (nor do I have any health issues). All my blood work and levels come back as normal and I am a fully functioning human being. I do not eat a million calories a day even though I love food and I do actually work out…not as much as I should, but I’m getting better.
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I do have curvy women in my family…on both sides. We all have wider hips, thick thighs and are “built for birthing” according to my mother. I know I’m genetically inclined to certain body traits, but supposedly everyone has the potential to be thin and muscly, right? I also would like to say, when I look at myself, I do not think that I am obese. National standards tell me I am at risk, I am fat, I am not just fat…I am OBESE! When I read that, all I couldΒ think was…has everyone been lying to me? When I look at myself and think I look pretty sometimes…am I seeing a false version of myself? Am I delusional?!? Do people look at me with disgust when they see me and whisper “she shouldn’t be wearing that” or “poor girl” or “If she’d only workout she could look decent”. This is the impression I have gotten of obesity in our culture. One word and I questioned everything I am as a person.

When I have looked at my weight and cried out in desperation for help before, I turned to the internet for solutions…watching countless weight loss videos and reading endless articles…unfortunately, a lot of the skinny girls I saw told stories of how they have all struggled in various ways with anorexia or bulimia. I used to think, maybe that’s the only way. In high school, I tried to stop eating without success, I even tried making myself vomit once or twice. I felt weak and even more insignificant for not being able to stick with it. Then I realized I was being crazy and that those things are serious mental disorders and no matter how skinny those ladies get their brains will always tell them they are fat until they get help. I also realized I had a problem of my own and I needed help as well.

I love food. I used to use it as a security blanket. Whenever I was stressed or had a hard day, food was always there. When I was growing up, I lived in a poor home where we were lucky to have food on our table…that meant we better make sure we eat EVERYTHING on our plate and be grateful. We also always had a tub of ice cream in the freezer for dessert. I carried those things with me with age and into college.

When I got into a healthier mindset, I downgraded the tubs of ice cream to just a pint in the freezer for occasional bites, I learned new healthy recipes and began to appreciate the art of food and what it can do for your body…also knowing when enough is enough. I stopped using eating food to comfort and began using the art of preparing food and enjoying the process as my stress reliever. As you can tell from other blog posts and my instagram…I still love food and I think food can be beautiful, but I can appreciate it in moderation. So far, I’ve been on a new program for the past week and a half and have been working out every day. I am doing the 21 day fix and am hoping to improve consistency in all areas of my life. I feel good. I feel healthy. I got the news today that I am obese and I can’t help but feel devastated. I have worked really hard to get to this point in my life and I feel like my body is working against me. I feel like my body wants me to fail. I look at the scale and so far haven’t seen much difference in the past 5 years. My weight has fluctuated 10-20lbs every once in a while, but I always find myself in the same spot. I pray this time will be different, but I’m also terrified it won’t be. I have come so far to accept myself and my body and the world is telling me “you’ve failed” I feel like.

Sometimes I try to look up celebrities who I think look curvier than me and I try to find their height and weight to compare. I know I shouldn’t, but if I’m being honest I do. Most of the time I am disappointed of course as I find even some of the most curvy women in Hollywood weigh less than me. I think that my perception must be really twisted. Or is it really?

My fiancΓ© is an avid weightlifter and watches everything he puts in his body with a scientific precision. Every day he tells me that I am beautiful. A lot of days I believe him. Other days I see my stretch marks, look at the scale and wonder how he tolerates me.

Obese to me has been communicated through the media as a failure. A glutton. A burden. At risk. Disgusting. Ugly.

What does that make me? I am a woman who tries her best to work out regularly, I fixed my mentality on food and I don’t overeat, I am completely healthy by medical standards through blood tests and exams…yet I am obese.

I don’t have the answers…I just think this is something that I would like to open up discussion about. I work each day to improve and be a better human being. I am not perfect, but I aim for my best. As I continue my journey I will update, but for now…this is me and all my insecurities and uncertainties.

With love,

Ashley

Thug Kitchen: Review

Yay! Finally time to review my first cookbook!! I got this a couple months ago because I liked the name and thought it would be fun to display in my kitchen, but got too busy to look through it…until the end of October! I finally read through the introduction and it was so informational (in a really fun, good way) and I was surprised by the fact that it’s actually a book that’s completely animal product free! I got so inspired I decided to make a meal plan that took completely from the recipes in the book and to limit meat/animal intake as close to nothing as possible. 

  
Here’s kind of what a sample meal plan week looked like. To make it a bit easier for myself, I tried to find 1 vegan casserole and 1 vegan crockpot to go along with a few recipes from Thug Kitchen, so I wouldn’t have to do as much on a few days. Turns out I really didn’t need to plan as many meals as I did because I forgot to factor in leftovers as it is just the two of us, so I’ll have to plan that out better next time.

Here’s a few of the recipes I tried!

Pumpkin Chili:

  
Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos:

  
Vegetable Noodle Soup w/ Ginger Miso Broth:

  
Black Bean Torta w/ Chipotle Coconut Mayo:

  
Tempeh Bacon Mac and Cheese:

  
Mixed Veggie + Tofu Scramble:

  
I absolutely loved all these recipes! Also, it felt sooo good to go to the store and buy things that were all natural ingredients and my cart was overflowing with greens and it was so fulfilling. All the meals hit the spot. The one I’m not so sure about is the Breakfast Greens recipe with the kale…maybe I just cooked it wrong, but I wasn’t a big fan. Also, really make sure you look at how much time everything takes to prepare. Read ALL the instructions like it says. A couple times I forgot that I had to pre-cook all the dried beans or something which can take like 2 days to do lol. SO either pre-cook your dried beans in bulk batches or just go for the canned beans if you’re more lazy. πŸ˜‹
Well, I hope this was helpful for some people! I highly recommend this cookbook. Only like $12 on Amazon and you get some great quality meals for your buck. Also, I didn’t spend more than I usually do on groceries and it was all quality, whole ingredients, so that was awesome. Also, tofu and beans is really a good amount cheaper than meat for protein, so that’s a plus. I definitely think this cookbook helps you take a closer look at what you put in your body (the book’s tag line is “eat like you give a f*ck” which I love and this book helps you think about that). 
Cheers,

Ashley

On “Partying”

Once upon a time I walk into my dorm from morning classes to be yelled at by my dorm-mate saying that I “don’t have a life” and “have no friends” after she’d had a long night of heavy drinking. I had to laugh at that because I have always felt the opposite. I accidentally walked into a “raging” college party once and instantly felt so alone even though people were smashed around me like sardines. No one was doing anything besides drinking and smoking. All I could think was…”no board games? no stimulating conversation?? no music or movies??” as you can guess I left that “party” immediately. My true friends and family know when I say “we’re going to party so hard” or something of that sort what I really mean is “let’s have good food, maybe watch a movie or some NetflixΒ and spend quality time together”. I was never into the superficial party scene where you have to be intoxicated to have a good time. No one really cares about you in those kinds of situations! What is on most peoples’ minds is “who could I hook up with? where’s my next drink?”. I heard this song on the radio today and I had to smile thinking back to those days and where I’ve come since then and all the success and happiness I’ve gained. Maybe some of you can relate with this song too…shout out to all the people with “no lives”! It doesn’t make you an “old person” or “boring”…it just means you care about having genuinely good times and relationships with people you care aboutΒ regardless of the presence of alcohol!

Enjoy!

Orange Juicing Julius (Juicing Experiment)

  
I recently got a juicer at Value Village for $15 and so I’ve been learning to make lots of nutritious juices to incorporate in my life. It’s hard to get all the fruits and veggies you are recommended to consume into a day…juicing is amazing for this! With summer in full swing, I’ve been loving fresh, yummy cold fruity drinks. Lately I’ve been curious what a freshly juiced orange would taste like as an Orange Julius treat…so I tried it out today! SO yummy! And SO much better for you then a traditional Orange Julius you’d get. A traditional small Orange Julius has 54g of sugar, 60 carbs and is lacking in all nutrients. My recipe cuts the sugar and carbs down by more than half, packs 6.5g of protein per serving AND is loaded with Vitamin A, C, Potassium, Calcium and Iron. Plus, all the sugars are natural sugars from the oranges and a bit of organic coconut palm sugar…I’ll take that any day! 

Here’s my recipe (Serves 4):

  • 2 oranges (with rinds) 
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2 handfuls of spinach 
  • 3 medium carrots
  • ~1/2 c water
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 T organic coconut palm sugar 
  • 2tsp vanilla 
  • Ice Cubes 

Juice the oranges, carrots, celery and spinach. Use water to rinse the excess veggie juice out of the juicer to make sure you are getting as much as possible (not a necessary step). 

*I used my NutriBullet for this next part, but you can use a traditional blender*

Add juice base to blender with milk, sugar, vanilla and ice cubes. Blend and serve! 

Pretty simple, delicious and packed with nutrience! Let me know if you try this my tagging me on Instagram (@ashiebeeinsta) or Twitter (@ashiebeetweets) 

Morning RoutineΒ 

  

 This is what a fairly normal weekday morning looks like for me. 

I’ve really been enjoying the simplicity of a good piece of Dave’s Killer Powerseed bread with an egg on top. To get the egg the way I do I use an egg sandwich maker I got at Value Village for $6 and spray some coconut cooking oil spray on it and then it just slides onto my toast perfectly! I take this extra step with my egg because firstly it doesn’t dirty another pan, but the egg fits perfectly on my toast and it’s cute and eye pleasing. I find taking little steps to make something more appealing or cute can really change your entire mood and day. For me, at least, presentation really is everything even on outlooks of life.

I interchange my coffee with tea, but I got a variety pack of different Keurig coffee k-cups to try out so I’ve been doing those and experimenting. Let me know if there are amazing Keurig k-cups I need to try! I love trying new things and discovering things I like. I already love tea of all sorts, but still getting on the coffee bandwagon. 

Other than that I like to take the morning to relax and meditate a bit. The day gets really stressful sometimes, so mornings are a time to prepare and reflect for me as well as try to get my workout in so I don’t have to worry about it later when I’m even more tired. My table is positioned right next to my window, so I love opening the blinds in the morning and taking in the nature surrounding me to start the day. Nothing quite relaxes me and makes me excited for the day than taking a bit to admire my view and hear the birds chirping. Last but not least, besides checking my phone/social media, I love filling out my Q&A a day. The Q&A a day helps me take a moment to self relfect more than I would otherwise and is a nice gesture to learn more about yourself and check in daily. I’m really curious to see how my answers develop over the course of 5 years (this year is my first). 

Anyways, thought I’d share a little peak into some of the small things that make my morning. Hope you all are having a lovely Thursday and you’ll be hearing from me soon!