To Carb or Not to Carb? That is the Question…

On a daily basis we are bombarded with the idea Carbs are bad for us, Products claiming “new low carb formula”  Should we eat low carb? what is a carb?

What is a Carb? (Carbohydrate)

I asked a few people this question recently and most people responded Bread, Pasta and Potato a few people even believing “gluten free” food was free of carbs, I also find people perceive low carb as low calorie this is not always the case. Yes carbohydrates can be found in this food but typically foods like Yogurt, Milk, Sugary Foods (chocolate, candy) and Broccoli also contain the demonized “carb” just in different ratios and are made up of different Molecules.

There are also two types of carbs,

Simple- Generally found in processed foods like pasta, lollies and white breads. these carbs are relativity quick digesting.

Complex- Found in wholegrain and Natural foods like Sweet potato and other vegetables, rice and multi grain bread.

Carbohydrates specifically “glucose” are essential for us to live, let alone preform athletic activity’s it is the body’s preferred fuel. So with out Glucose there is no you and me.

 

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In Scales we Trust???

Society’s fixation on putting a measurement on what is a “healthy” or “Ideal” weight has always astonished me, the pressure we endure trying to reach a particular number on the scales, Maybe its jealousy, I have never managed to get below 60kgs my entire life (and for me this was the hardest body weight to maintain, I was a cardio junky, i was clocking about 30ks min a week with light strength training and a calorie controlled diet, but not long after starting a more Strength based program I put on 4kgs like that, mind you all of my cloths still fit, so lets assume I was gaining muscle, at 64kgs it was easy to maintain I went on holidays for 6 weeks and went for the occasional run but being out 8-12pm each night doesn’t  really leave a lot of time to fit in workouts. After my return home I decided to start crossfit, this is something I have dabbled in over the years but I really wanted the challenge of starting to look at competing in the next 6-9 months, Lets me warn you…..if you start crossfit you might want to throw away your scales…After 2 months of crossfit I decided to step on them whilst looking after a friends house…..well i nearly fell over! 70KGS What The F**K! I was hitting Lift PBs, Moving Fast, Beginning to nail complex moves but what was with the weight gain, to look at me I could tell I had more “shape” in particular parts of my body particularly through the legs, bootay and shoulders I looked athletic and I hadn’t noticed a massive increase in fat on my body but we don’t always see clearly when we hit a set back or think we have failed at something.

After thinking about this in my head I knew some of this weight fluctuation was due to an increase of lean muscle mass was I beginning to beat myself up about not working hard enough or becoming fat again (When i was 21 i weighed 98Kgs at my heaviest) is it that we are told we should be a specific number on the scales? that we are always in the massive struggle to always be “dieting” or “working out” to loose those last few KGs, how about eating to nourish and support an active lifestyle, the min we dramatically decrease our caloric intake that’s less energy that can be used during a HITT workout and quite often get knocked on our ass a few days after a killer workout !   It took a few trusted people and a Dexa scan to bring me back down to earth. Finding out i was an incredible 51Kgs of muscle astonished me!

I will never know and or understand how celebrities on the cover of  trash magazines get down to 40kgs, I can guarantee they don’t exercise, But unfortunately these are the people that our young people look up too they are their “inspiration” I could never have the body of Kendal Jenner, to start with I am only 165cm tall, I am also a different build, plus lets face it shes not built to do the type of training I enjoy.

After successfully quitting sugar and only reintroducing small amounts of fruit and approved sweeteners (rice malt syrup and stevia)  I currently have found balance in my life by following the crossfit principles for eating, and following a zone diet, but this might not work for everyone I have just found it to be the most fool proof way of eating to follow with out having to calorie count or work out macros.

Am I Enough?

I’ve never really been the girl to attract male “suitors”  though out my entire life i can actually count on 1 hand….. if it was chopped in half how many times I have been asked out on a “date” …..I think i just dry heaved a little…..I hate the word “date” it makes me feel like what ever “this is” is more than it actually is and it also gives people the right to pass opinion on what they think “this is”.

I mean what “is this” really?, OK yea we have slept together a few times…..after 1am, Theres no way I could have been your first pic? really? and the second time was like connivance, OHHH geeezzeee 3 times! Don’t start to like him, you’ll only be disappointed when you see him in 5 years time with a girl that’s way more attractive than you! No that’t it im deleting his number!!!  OHHH Gawd! I’m knocking on your door @ 2am…..oh geeze I’ve had way too much too drink “CAN WE JUST CUDDLE…..No wait I am going to be sick, I need to go home!” maybe that was a “I’m taking you home….”  That’s it there is no coming back from that…..at allll, Trustttt me!!

Any way I digress The minuet a guy pays attention to me i feel the need to impress him, I want to feel accepted, this says a lot about how much self worth I have.

I often feel if I was ever interested in a male he wouldn’t be interested in me I always feel like I am batting above my weight like i have to prove to him how great I am, I don’t consider myself to be anything special at all, how ever I am fantastic fun maybe slightly left of center, when i don’t think your comparing me to the other 100000 beautiful girls that are better looking than me in the room, So i get a bit of “FIG” anxiety, now don’t mistake this for being shy around guys, 2 of my best friends are guys and I quite often hang around them more than my female friends, I just have no interest in Dating them, so maybe that’s why its so easy.

I shouldn’t be afraid to be myself, If you don’t like me that’s OK! Your not going to like me any more if my makeup is perfect or my hair isn’t how YOU like it. I am Different, I am Interdependent, I own a business, I Crossfit, I eat healthy, I prefer dogs  but most importantly I am ENOUGH!!!

Ashlee-Jean

Dating Guru (hahahahaha)

Lets Talk about mental health because it is just as important as physical health!

There are many times in our lives where emotions can get the better of us for one reason or another, sometimes for the most strangest of reasons. I am lucky enough to have a solid group of friends who are so supportive and always around for what I might think to be the silliest of things but none the less they are an amazing bunch of people, That always know when to ask “R U OK?”

About 14 months ago I lost my Mum really suddenly, I remember the day like it was yesterday I spoke to her in the morning on my way to work, I went to see her when i knocked off I found her unconscious (she had suffered a rare kind of stroke) Just like that my entire life changed after a stressful weekend spent in an intensive care unit 7 hrs away from home I just didn’t know how to cope with my feelings, I built a wall around myself I didn’t want anyone to know how sad I was or how much stress i was under, little did I know I was heading towards a massive break.

A few days later I went out for coffee with my best friend, He asked how I was coping so well, He knew at this point I was going to have too step up and run 2 family businesses and become a mother figure to my younger brother….Truth was I wasn’t coping at all I was stressed on edge and I just wanted to disappear (the constant questions and people wanting to hug me was becoming over whelming), later I would find out all of my friends were concerned as none of them had seen me “break down” as such, I was just flat, mono-toned and distant to keep my emotions at bay.

We all find our own ways to deal with grief my way of coping was controlling everything I ate it was the only part of my life I could control with out fail, everything was weighed measured and accounted for, along with an intensive workout routine that ruled my life, I would weigh and measure myself every week just to keep the feeling of control where I could, I began to become a recluse avoiding socializing, or any situation where i might have to talk or even think about the fact I might be sad or not actually dealing with Mum passing away.

I know have a much healthier attitude towards food and my body! Check out my blog “My Battle with my body”

It wasn’t until recently I actually stated to talk more about how I was feeling, or actually just letting myself even feel something and feeling OK about it. Only now that I have finally got a grip on socializing again not being afraid that people will look at me sympathetically and ask how I’m going with everything and having to lie to them and say “fine” I actually tell them there are good days and bad days,  I allow myself to make mistakes and learn from them, there are days that are the hard some times you want some good quality Mum advice.

My friends seem to always know exactly when to ask “R U OK?”, It may be on the anniversary of her passing away, her Birthday, My Birthday, When work is getting the better of me or I’m going through a tricky life situation.  They will listen to me, spend time with me, laugh with me and even cry with me.

Never be afraid to ask if a loved one is OK! it doesn’t even need to be a loved one, If you ever think someone is not OK, even having a quick chat with them can make their day!

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Preperation is key!

I am forever being asked how I manage to eat so healthy during the week considering I run a small business, attend daily crossfit sessions, run and teach group fitness classes? well its pretty much down to preparation! Once a week I Bulk roast and steam vegetables, Make a few slow cooker meals and normally prepare some Buckwheat or Quinoa, then each morning its a case of measure and pop into containers for the day…..but lets face it no one wants to look daggy carrying around a Bag of miss match containers that I cant count how many times have tipped up side down in my carry bag and leaked all over me before I have even started my day!!

Enter the Fit Essentials Meal Management Bag!!

Fist of all, Fashion is a major part of my life, This bag most certainly reflects that! It has a SECURE compartment that fits up to 6 of the meal storage containers that come with the bag (they all have insulated lids so your food will stay super fresh!) as well as 2 small ice packs or 1 large, I’m not a shake girl but I am 100% positive that would fit in to one of the secure sections and not leak all over your precious i pad (this has happened to me on countless occasions) , there’s also a handy zip pocket in the front of the compartment perfect for Nuts or other snacks you might carry around. In the main compartment there are 2 Zipped compartments for any valuables you may have and a mobile phone compartment.

So be gone the days of walking around with plastic containers clunking, lids popping of and leaking over valuables and generally just looking daggy.

Jump onto http://www.fitessentials.com.au/products/sophie-tote and check out this amazing new product!!! But wait there’s more (I have  always wanted to say that!!!) Use the  code——- ASHLEER and you will get $50 off the cost of your Sophie tote!blog bag 2 Blog bag

Stay tuned for some handy meal prep ideas over the next week 🙂 Ill share some of my favorite nourishing recipes and yummy snacks 😀

Stay Fit People!

Ashlee-Jean

xoxoxox

My mental battle with my body!

Over the years like many girls (& boys) i have struggled the way my body looks, always looking in the mirror and hating everything i saw, I am sure for most of you this sounds similar, I bounced around on fad diets, intense workout plans (with very little gains) but this never changed the way I saw myself….Until recently.

One Evening I got home from the gym and looked at my self in the mirror and thought This battle with my head has to stop!  This wasn’t long after my mum passed away so on the best of days I was always some what of an emotional wreck but exercise at this point was an escape for me, for a whole hour I didn’t need to worry about being angry, sad, or happy. I didn’t have to worry about someone talking to me, or even talking to someone else.

At this point I was running, it was a fitness weakness for me so  I was working on improving and this is where my attitude to food, exercise and my body started to change. You cant train running over 30kilomiters a week on a low calorie diet, you could but i can guarantee you probably wouldn’t make any gains in speed or recovery time. In the space of about 2 months I went from running 10ks in an hour to 10ks in about 45min depending on the day (my PB to this day is 13ks in 40mins) I was nourishing my with whole and unprocessed foods from a wide range of food groups.

Whilst I was doing my running training I was also working with a PT at a local crossfit gym 2x per week to help complement the running,  I loved our sessions I left every week on top of the world, Kaye is still my PT and she is most definitely one of my fav people she is always supportive and offering advice without pushing her opinion, we also have one thing in common we hate FAD DIETS! Not long after I started training with Kaye she put me into the in house Crossfit open Comp, and I had my doubts  (I have 2 major fears Rejection and Failure) but I was pleasantly surprised with my results in 2 instances i came in 2nd on the board, I realized how low my self confidence was ….this is when I made my decision to be the healthiest and fittest I can be!

After my holiday to the USA I signed up to start crossfit……still a little scared of rejection and failure, I would stand in the back of class quiet not wanting to make eye contact with anyone, but after a few short weeks I saw a change in my body, my mind and my self prescription. I no longer cared about the results in on the scales but the results on the Board, seeing myself lift heaver, move faster, getting better at a movement I once struggled with or finishing a workout using an RX weight.

My attitude towards myself has been my favorite change from starting crossfit I have formed new friendships with a wide range of like minded people , I reward my body with nourishing foods, Ive cut out all refined sugar (see my other blog), I am gaining mental strength and believing in myself more and more, as well as learning to encourage others and lets not forget I am still seeing changes in my body, but they are the last thing on my mind :D!

Fitter, stronger and Healthier the rest is all a bonus!   toes to bar1