Friday, January 10, 2014

new site

Hi there!!

With the new year I am relaunching my blog at a new site! I am now at

See you there!!


Friday, November 1, 2013

No Excuses November!

Welcome to my No Excuses November that I am having with Leah Potosky Fitness! Are you ready!?

Every week of this month we will focus on one aspect of healthy living! The purpose is to help those who are either having a hard time with finding balance or learning how to live a healthy lifestyle! It is designed to be doable for everyone, no matter what stage of healthy living you are at or how busy you are, by creating baby steps. This allows you to not feel so overwhelmed and like you can't do it! Each one is JUST a week, and we are in this together, YOU CAN DO IT!

ALL MONTH: Engage in exercise at least 30m 4xWeek!
-          Any way that you can get up and moving is great! If you are just getting in to working out, build your way up with your intensity! If you can only walk or jog for cardio, that's fine! If you can only lift lighter weights, that's great! As long as you're doing it, that's what counts! Whether you are in a gym, at a class, outdoors, anywhere, just get moving!
Some examples for those who have a tight schedule: Get up early to hit the gym or do an at-home workout before work, ride a bike to work, use your lunch break to go for a brisk walk, take a walk or go for a run before dinner.

November 3-9: No sweets, sodas, or alcohol
-          Ditch the sugary treats! Ice cream, pasteries, candies, pop tarts, etc! If you question “is this considered a sweet?” then go ahead and ditch it! And yes, even the diet sodas count under sodas! You may crave things, keep yourself occupied, full, and well hydrated to help fight cravings! If you want things that are sweet, go for some naturally sweet things like fruit, molasass, honey, or use stevia!

November 10-16: Watch your water intake... minimum of 8cups per day!
Hydration is extremely important to your body, and people take it for granted! So many people don’t get the minimum amounts of water needed for their bodies in a sedentary state, let alone if they are working out! Plus, people will oftentimes start craving foods because they are dehydrated, so drinking more water may help surpress cravings or your appetite so you don't overeat!

My suggestion is to get a water bottle than holds  more water, like 4 cups, so you can fill it up a couple of times and know how much you have had! Or buy the liter containers! I have  found that if I have a larger bottle, it's easier to drink more! Also, if you want to spice it up, add the "true lemon" sweetener or infuse your water with fruit!

So this week, aim to get at least 8 cups of water per day… if you can do more, great!

November 17-23: Eat at least ONE 100% clean meal every day!
-          Eating 100% clean can be difficult for a lot of people, so taking babysteps helps! If you try to conpletely change your eating habits to dropping all processed foods at one time or restricting yourself too much, you may end up going crazy! 

With the holidays being around us, it is great to get as much natural food in our bodies as we can since there are so many tummy goodies around us as well! So this week we are aiming to start by just eating at least one clean, 100% unprocessed meal every day! If you can do two every day, even better! ;) 

November 24-30: Up the veggies! Aim for veggies at all meals!
-          Veggies are so so so important and oftentimes people overlook them! With Thanksgiving being this week, that means lots of yummy foods and crazy leftovers coming your way if you celebrate! So what better way to make sure that you're still getting some proper nutrients than by making sure to eat veggies at every meal this week! And make sure plenty of them are green! 

-          To add them into meals, you don’t just have to have them just as a side dish, either. Try things like green smoothies, zucchini bread, omelet’s or eggwhite muffins, spaghetti squash etc!

I will be sure to post about each week as we are going so that everyone can stay accountable and after each week I will write a blog about how they went! Now let's rock this month! No excuses!

Dream Big. Make It Happen. No Excuses.
Ashley Scott

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I know that there was a large interest in the detox/cleanse that I was doing last week, so I just wanted to give you all a little post about how it went for me! Now, I am not going to give you all of the dirty details that go along with the cleanse, but if you are interested in doing it, feel free to email me at and I will send you the different options. I know that finances can be a large issue, so I created a new option for those of you who do not have or want to spend a lot of money!

Getting Started
I was lucky enough to have two friends that live nearby who were interested in doing a detox, so when I learned about this one, I had to tell them about it. They jumped right on board and it worked out really well to be able to have that support system and be going through it with someone else. We used the NutriClean 7-Day Cleansing System, plus the meal plan and foods list provided through the TLS website!

Being Prepared
We actually did not really take the time to prepare much beforehand, which is something that I definitely recommend doing for a cleanse. I mean, I knew in general what I was getting myself into and everything. I had looked up recipes a few days prior, so I knew what I was planning on making and we did all of our grocery shopping the night before. I was lucky enough to not have to work, which was a reason that I hadn't prepped the foods before, so the first day all of us spent it together, cooking and prepping our food.
  [TIP]-> The big thing that I wanted to make sure happened was that I was eating real meals everytime I ate, and not just snacking on food all day long. When you are more limited to food options, being able to still sit down and eat a meal is so important! It makes you feel more "normal" haha! So the first couple days were the hardest because of the transitioning from, virtually, anything I wanted to a strict list of foods. But each day DEFINITELY got easier!
  [TIP]-> Having a variety of options was a big deal too! After the first couple of days I started to get bored with eating the same things. And then all of a sudden, a new food that I hadn't eaten yet that week suddenly made everything seem 10 times better! Even if it was just something like asparagus or edamame, haha! Can you believe it?

The Energy Levels
By the end of the first day I was dragging more than I thought that I would, in fact we all were. I think this is where it was nice for us to be able to spend the day together and help with the support. Seeing each other go through the same thing was very helpful, as it is in a lot of aspects of life! Each day got easier though, and each day I gained more and more energy. By the end of the week my felt felt so great; I was so refreshed, energetic, and ready to take on the world.
One thing that I could not have handled this week though, working out. When you're doing something like a detox, it is suggested to avoid vigorous activity, because it is too much on your body with the way that you are fueling yourself. The first few days I did not miss it so much, because I was so occupied with making sure that I had food ready and was eating enough and all of that good stuff! By halfway through the week, though, I was eager to get back, and by the end of the week I was practically itching to get in the gym! BUT I knew better than to try and get in the gym before I was ready. I know my body and I knew that there was no way I could have done my usual kinds of workouts during the cleansing process. Walking, yoga, stretching, etc is fine and all, but my HIIT cardio and heavy lifting,  NO WAY! In fact, do you guys remember when I went golfing with my boyfriend that one day last week... climbing the hills of the gold course was wearing me out! So yeah, that was definitely an adjustment.

Staying Positive and Busy
The BIG thing about detoxing, I think, is your mentality through it. You HAVE to remain positive through the experience. It is hard, it takes determination, it takes commitment, but it is worth it. You just have to take it meal by meal, day by day and count down the days until it was over! I think the first few days were the hardest because it was like "Oh my gosh we have a whole week of this!" but by day three it was like, "Okay, we are almost halfway through. We can do this" and counting down! It also helped to eat the foods that I liked the most later in the day when it was getting harder, so that I could look forward to those things!

Being busy is also key and helps with staying positive. If you are constantly thinking about what you can't eat and what you can't do, it is bound to make the process harder for you! So by keeping yourself busy and preoccupied with other things, the time goes by faster and the whole process feels a little easier! I was hanging out with my friends, reading books, watching tv, going for walks, anything I could do to not think about food! ;)

Benefits and Results
Besides my body just feeling all-around better and having more natural energy, guess what! No cravings! Actually, even when I did try something sweet, it didn't even taste good to me or satisfy me at all! I'm not going to lie, it was actually a little weird, considering how large my sweet tooth it! But I though that was pretty awesome! I actually even texted my best friend, Leah Potosky Fitness when I tried to eat Almond Butter on Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread and hated it! WHAT!?!!?!? I'm sorry, that was like my favorite thing ever and all of a sudden it just wasn't as good! That was actually kinda horrible, but after a few days of my tastebuds adjusting I learned to love it again :)
So more energy, no cravings, what could make it any better? Weight loss. I actually ended up losing a few pounds, and could see myself tightening up a little bit every day! I totally recommend taking progress pictures on a weekly basis anyway, but when doing something like this also! Unfortunately, mine ended up being in different locations and different lightings and the last one I didn't even get to do in the same time frame as the first one, so I didn't get to have a good quality before and after picture, but I no doubt could tell the difference in myself! My friends also all lost a few pounds as well! You are getting rid of all of the crap that is in your system (so yes, be prepared to sit on the toilet a whole bunch! haha), so the weight from that plus the better food choices and fiber helps to get rid of some unwanted weight! Now this shouldn't be something that is done just as a way to lose weight and taken advantage of in a "fad diet" sense. I think a lot of detoxes and cleanses get a bad rep for being used for that. As long a you have the extra fat to lose, the detox will help you drop an initital few and then from there it is a great way to jump start a weight-loss or fitness plan by just eating healthy and making better choices!

So In Summary...
I absolutely LOVED doing this detox and am excited for the next time that I do it, especially now that I have gone through it once already. It is something that I plan on doing after the holidays too, because lord knows I will be indulging in pumpkin pie, peppermint-flavored things, and a little too much champagne. ;) I highly recommend people going a cleanse/detox a couple times a year, even if they are a healthy.clean eater. There are so many more benefits that just riding your body of toxins! Like I said in the beginning, if you are interested in doing this detox and want more information, please feel free to send me an email! Also, if you had expressed interest in the past, and still might be interested, I added an extra option that was not available before, so feel free to email me again!

Dream Big. Make It Happen. No Excuses.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cacao Chip Pumpkin Cookies

I am obsesseddddddd with pumpkin and unfortunately, I won't be able to eat a lot of fun pumpkin-y things after this weekend, so I have gone on a mini baking spree! Starting with these little lovelies! and ohhhhhhh my goodness, I cannot even express how much I loved these cookies! I easily could have eaten the entire batch in one sitting!

cacao chip pumpkin cookies

*remake recipe*

3/4 cup oat flour
1scoop vanilla protein
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4tsp baking soda

1/2cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2cup almond butter
1/3cup honey
1tsp vanilla
1/3cup cacao chips

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix dry ingredients
3. Mix wet ingredients
4. Combine ingredients together, then stir in cacao chips
5. Spray a cookie sheet (I use coconut oil spray)
6. put ~1spoonful of mix on cookie (mine made 11 cookies)
7. bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden brown

Macros per cookies (for 11 cookies)
Calories: 169
Fat: 8.5g
Carbs: 19g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar: 10.5g
Protein: 7g

*you can find the original recipe at she has a cream cheese frosting that I can't wait to try on them when I remake these after my shoot! pumpkin and cream cheese are basically best friends. ;)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

grocery shopping.

Grocery shopping when you are trying to be healthy and eat clean can be overwhelming, especially when you are just starting out. I have created a list of tips and a lot of the things that I buy, as well as some that I don't personally buy but are great options.

Some Grocery Shopping Tips:

  • Stick around the perimeters of the store. For the most part, you want to avoid things in boxes and bags that have a long shelf life. Things with a long shelf life generally mean that they are overly processed.
  • Start with slowly making healthier choices and learning about how healthy products are. You don't need to immediately jump into 100% non-processed foods... in fact, if you do, you may end up going on a crazy binge from a drastic change. Start with adding more protein and fruits and veggies into your diet, while ditching the chips and cookies.
  • Things that say sugar free and fat free are not necessarily good choices. For example, sugar free cookies are still overly processed crap cookies :-P Instead of always looking for those words, look for organic, all natural, and "no sugar added" kinds of things.
  • READ THE LABELS. It gets confusing, but sometimes things like nut butters will say natural, but they still have things like added sugars and oils. Like I said in my previous post, look for products that have a smaller list of ingredients... less than two handfuls. And try to stick with the all natural brands!
  • Try to go to more farmers market/health stores for less variety/healthier options: In my area we have Sprouts, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods, in addition to the larger chain stores.

-White fish (tilapia, orange roughy, mahi mahi, etc.)
-Ground turkey (extra lean or lean)
-Chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
-Lean steak (top sirloin and filet mignon)
-Greek Yogurt (plain and lowfat or nonfat; sweeten it yourself... see sweeteners... to avoid added sugars)
-Cottage Cheese (lowfat or nonfat)
-Protein powder (whey: fast absorbing, casein: slower digesting)
-Quest Bars

Complex Carbs
-Sweet Potatoes
-Ezekiel bread/tortilla/english muffin
-Brown Rice
-Cream of wheat
-Beans (black, navy, pinto, garbonzo)
-Whole Grain Breads/tortillas/etc
-Corn tortillas
-Granola (all natural and look for low sugar or no sugar added)

Healthy Fats
-Nuts (raw)
-Seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin, chia etc.)
-Nut butter (for the best options, only ingredient should be nuts. no added sugars)
-Oil (coconut, olive, grapeseed, sesame, avocado, etc.)
-Salmon (also a good source of protein)

-In season and organic is best
-Dried fruit (no sugar added)
-Jelly (all natural, no sugar added)
-Applesauce (no sugar added)
-AVOID canned fruits as they are usually loaded with sugar

-Frozen (I buy Steam Fresh)
-In season and organic is best
-AVOID canned veggies as they are usually loaded with sodium

-Tea (green tea is a great natural fat burner)
-Coffee (clean when it is black. add almond milk, natural sweeteners, or whey for flavoring)

-Nonfat or skim milk
-Almond milk
-Greek yogurt (also listed as protein: plain and lowfat or nonfat; sweeten it yourself... see sweeteners... to avoid added sugars)
-Cottage Cheese (also listed as protein: nonfat or low fat)
-Almond cheese, fat-free cheese, light cheese

-Stevia (plain or flavored)
-Raw Honey
-Raw Maple Syrup
-Raw Agave
-True Lemon

-Spices (mrs. dash is a personal favorite)
-Hot sauce
-Apple Cider Vinegar

Baking Needs & More
-Flour (oat, almond, coconut, wheat)
-Cocoa powder

I, personally, like to make sure that I am eating both a portion of protein and a complex carb at the most of my meals to really fuel my body. I make sure to get enough healthy fats into my diet, but don't necessarily eat them at every meal. Vegetables, I will try to include in most of my meals as well, but if I am being quite honest, my vegetable intake is something that I really need to work on! So when I am grocery shopping I really focus first on making sure that I have the proteins and complex carbs that I need, then the vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats! And the rest is kind of just icing on the cake to spice it up! I will also be sure to make a post about some "fun" foods that are not considered "clean" but that I still like to eat daily! ;)

I hope this helps you guys  a little bit, at least! If you have any questions, feel free to ask, or if you can think of things that I have not included on the list, feel free to throw them out there! I am sure I forgot something! ;)

Dream Big. Make It Happen. No Excuses.
Ashley Scott

Friday, August 9, 2013

what is clean eating?

Clean eating. I know that you have seen it if you are one of my followers, and I am sure that you hear it a lot when you are following other health and fitness people on social networks or when you are reading articles online!

But what is it?

I don't think that there is a clear cut, solid definition  In my opinion, clean eating is pretty relative, and I feel as though you should be able to make your own definition. In the simplest, most generic definition, I would say that clean eating means that your majority of your food intake is natural, non-processed foods. aka: "real food."

But what kinds of foods does that break down into it?

The generic breakdown of what foods are "clean" is to say that clean eating is eating a variety of natural fruits, veggies, proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats, while limiting your intake of processed foods. 
[I will create a grocery list/clean foods list in an entry as well]

But really, it all depends on what kind of eating lifestyle you have. Some people are paleo, some are vegetarian, some are vegan, some don't eat gluten etc. Each of these lifestyles does promote eating food from the earth and nature, but in their own ways. Then, within your type of lifestyle eating, it depends on what YOU consider to be clean. Anything processed is usually not considered clean, but you will find that many people eat it anyway, for example: quest bars, almond milk, Greek yogurt, veggie/almond cheese, etc! This is where it comes to your own kinds of judgement calls and the way you WANT to eat/live the lifestyle.

Just because you are eating clean does not mean that you have to have the same boring meals over and over again. Or that you have to have the same handful of food options every day. When I am choosing what I will eat, the majority of my foods are non-processed, whole foods: chicken, turkey, tilapia, eggs, sweet potatoes, oats, raw nuts, fresh fruits and veggies, etc. But there are occasions, usually on a daily basis, when I will eat processed things, and I like it that way. Now, I am not saying that I am eating oreos and ice cream sandwiches and doritos and fruit snacks. I, personally, just look at what processed things are made of, how natural they are, and what nutritional value they have. I try to maintain a good balance of proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats, so when I do eat processed things, I am always looking at the nutrition label for this information, as well as the ingredients list. If I know the ingredients and they are not some crazy names, then I usually think that the product is fine! I have seen things that say something like "If there is an ingredient that a child cannot pronounce easily, then stay away from it." This is a rule that I do generally stick with... if there is some crazy sounding ingredients, then it is most likely a crap ingredient!  BUT, on occasion (rarely) I will have a product like this (specifically oreos are my weakness), just not a ton of it! Another thing that I have seen in multiple places says something along the lines of "If you look at an ingredients list and there are more than a handful of ingredients then stay away from it." Now in my opinion, this is great and all, for those who want to stick to an extra clean, more strict, and extra super healthy lifestyle. But, I am going to go ahead and say that if you are trying to lose some fat or are like me, maintaining, and just living an everyday healthy lifestyle, without worrying about being as healthy as it is possible or having any hardcore "cutting" needs, then under two handfuls of all natural and organic ingredients is fine. As long as you can pronounce them and, I reiterate, they are all natural and organic, then I say go for it. These might not be the BEST options of foods when you are eating clean, but they are generally healthier than other options and won't leave you feeling like you are being deprived if you want those types of things. For example: snackanimal animal crackers rather than the popular processed brands! Below are a few of the brands that I swear by! :)

I am sure that a lot of people would argue with this and think that this is not healthy, and to each their own. I am just saying that in my personal opinion, I will eat things like this on occasion, and I don't see a problem with it! And usually, when I get them, I will only get them from places like Sprouts or Trader Joes or Whole Foods (farmers market style stores), that generally have a more narrow selection or more natural/less processed items. It takes some learning, but you have to be careful and really pay attention to the ingredients and such... a lot of big-name companies label things as all-natural, when they are still a load of crap. This is why I throw in looking for all natural AND organic and why I say to go to more natural/healthy grocery stores if you want processed treats; you will be more likely to pick a better option that way. Just make sure that you are not depending on these types of foods. Although healthier than the alternatives, they are still processed, and having natural, whole foods is still a better choice for the majority of your intake!

But how often do you eat clean? What is right or wrong?

The surprising news, to some, is that there is no right or wrong. Not in my opinion. When it comes to being healthy, you have to find what will work best for you. Eating clean can be anything from a 100% all day, every day clean diet to an 80/20 daily ratio of clean foods to treats to eating 100% clean during the week and allowing for a treat meal on the weekend, etc. If you want to be as healthy as possible  then by all means, eat 100% clean all the time. Some people live this way, and I think that it is great! If you want to be healthy, but don't want to eat 100% clean, then don't feel like you have to! I will never tell someone that they have to eat 100% clean every day of their lives in order to reach their goals: I don't! You may need to change your habits depending on your goals, but you should always feel as though you are in control of your life, your decisions, and your intake. When you start to feel like you can't control yourself and food is taking over, then you need to reassess your approach. You can be as strict or as lenient as you wish. Finding your own balance is key: that is all up to you and what you find works best for your schedule, lifestyle and goals.

In my world, I am constantly changing my terms of clean eating. In my every day habits, I am much more laid-back in my clean eating approach. Like I said before, the majority of my food intake in clean, whole, natural foods, but I will also eat some processed things. I love my egg whites and ezekiel, my chicken and sweet potatoes, and my turkey chili, and so it is easy for me to stick to primarily eating clean, whole, natural foods. But on occasion, I just want to spice it up a little bit and I let myself do that! For example, I will have flavored nuts or nut butters, flax chips, no sugar added or organic chocolates, organic cereals/granolas, olive oil popcorn, etc. Things that are more processed, but not necessarily nutritional crap or completely horrible for you, and that still taste deeeeeeeelish: my daily healthy treats. I don't eat a lot of them daily, maybe one serving of one of these things a day, just a little to satisfy my desires! When I am prepping for an event, however, it is a totally different world, and I am much more strict than when I am just living my normal! I cut out a lot of the processed goodies and stick to something more like 90-95 clean/5-10 indulgence and get more strict as I get closer to an event date. 

SO do I eat 100% clean, 100% of the time? absolutely not. But do I consider myself to be a clean-eater? absolutely! :)

Can I eat out while I am eating clean?

Absolutely, 100%! And let me say that when you have balance in your life, you can do ANYTHING while eating clean. Some people think there are so many dos and don'ts when it comes to eating clean, but you can do whatever you want to fit your lifestyle! Of course, I will NEVER promote eating fast food, you can't really expect to eat ice cream every day and see the results that you want, and if you're looking to go into the competition/fitness modeling world, then prepping would require being more strict, but what I mean to say is that in your everyday life you should never feel like you have to stay away from things forever or feel as though you cannot do things. It is all about moderation in that sense. You can still indulge occasionally and lose fat. Use things like eating out or special occasions as your treat days; keep it clean and work hard around your treats, but enjoy them when you have them!

I will be sure to make a post on eating out tips as well, but for a short little summary, you can definitely eat out and eat clean as long as you know how to order. You don't have to get a salad when you are eating out in order to be healthy. You can look for things like chicken, lean steaks, bison meat, seafood: mahi, tuna, salmon, tilapia, shrimp etc. When you're ordering, just keep your focus on how it is cooked and if it if grilled, you will usually have a good option! Substitute your fries for some steamed veggies (unless you are treating yourself) and you're set! ;)


Now, you may be finishing off reading this post and thinking, okay, so then what the hell is clean eating!? haha. I wish I could give you a cut and dry answer to make it easy on everyone, but the truth of the matter is that, in my opinion, clean eating is what YOU make of it based on your goals! And really, I think it is better that way! You can choose how strict to be, how much to indulge, etc... find what works best for YOU!!

Dream Big. Make It Happen. No Excuses.