JANUARY 2015 – BREAKING BAD EATING HABITS – JOIN US!

TRUTH RIGHT THERE.  IF YOU NEED HELP WITH KITCHEN PART, JOIN OUR GROUP IN JANUARY – WE WILL BE DOING THE ADVOCARE 24 DAY CHALLENGE TO RESET A HEALTHY EATING ROUTINE.  IT HELPS KICK THE BAD HABITS TO THE CURB AND ESTABLISHES NEW GOOD EATING HABITS.  IT ALSO CLEANS OUT THE SYSTEM – MUCH LIKE AN OIL CHANGE – SO WE CAN ABSORB THOSE IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS FROM THE FOOD WE EAT AND THE SUPPLEMENTS THAT FILL IN THE GAPS.

EMAIL ashley@ashleybensonfitness.com FOR A FREE EVALUATION.

SHE LOST 77 lbs!!!

 

I want to celebrate my cousin, Katheryn, for her consistent commitment and perseverance to better health this past year.  She jumpstarted her journey with the Slow-Carb Diet (details HERE) which jumpstarted her into better eating habits.  She did a beautiful job transitioning out of the 6 week program into a good eating lifestyle.  She also committed herself to exercise.  I watched her journey on Facebook, sometimes excited to go to the gym, sometimes dragging herself there, but ALWAYS approaching it with a good, positive attitude.  In 2013, she lost 77 lbs!  Katheryn says she still has 33 to go until she reaches her final goal. Great job, Katheryn… we are very proud and your story is inspiring!

2013 has been a year of change! I married my best friend, lost 77lbs, and I found my self! I was severely over weight and felt so lost on how to lose it, I would sit cry and then destructively eat more. The day I took this pic(on left) I decided then I’m done. It was the hardest thing I’ve had to do and I still have to do. Some days I would sit and cry out of complete hopelessness. My family stood by me 100% and kept telling me to push through. Cody had to deal with the most though. I know a lot of it he had no idea how to make me feel better, but he always tried to make me feel beautiful. I am very thankful for my support, with out it I don’t think I could’ve done it. I still have 33 lbs to go, but that’s nothing compared to what I have overcome! Now I look forward to going places, I can go walk with my daughter or get down and play with her, and I can be the wife my husband deserves! I will reach my goal in 2014. I will continue my journey to be healthy and fit from now on, not just the new year. I also want to help anyone who was in my position or anyone who just wants to live a healthier life! Today’s a new day, the beginning to a new book. Let’s write the story we deserve!                    Katheryn Hendrix

Being Good on Vacation Part 1 – SPARK SLUSH

Well Hello!!!  
I’m home now from a month of vacationing.  Well, it wasn’t ALL vacation.  I did work some while I was gone.  As you can see, I didn’t do much blogging, but I did take lots of pictures 🙂  Now I want to share with you some ways I stayed healthy while traveling.  
 
IT’S REALLY HARD TO BE GOOD!
It’s possible, we just have to get creative.  
 
While I was in Texas, we took a weekend trip to the beach.  Port Aransas was our destination and it was a lot of fun in the sun.  And guess what???  We found the BEST SHAVED ICE place there on the island.  I’m serious… may be the best in all the earth!?!?!?
I mean, really.  
This is just one tiny part of the menu.
thePROBLEM
It’s all sugar… and I’m not eating sugar!!!  
OH, WHY ME!!!!!
 
After discovering that this was in fact the best shaved ice on planet, the kids decided to visit it as many times as possible while we were there.  I allowed myself 1 real snow cone, and I chose COFFEE WITH CREAM.  After all, I would order that at a coffee house 🙂  
After that trip I had to get creative.
Oh my it was fabulous! 
 So here’s what I did the rest of our trips to the best shaved ice place in the world…
 
I made
ADVOCARE
SPARK SHAVED ICE!
1 bottle of water
1 cup of fluffy shaved ice
1 scoop of ADVOCARE SPARK
(Spark is a vitamin energy drink
 
It was amazing and here’s how I did it
If you want to be a part of our 24 Day Challenge Group, shoot me an email and we’ll connect and get you set up on a customized 24 Day Challenge package perfect for reaching your goals! 

April-May Weight Loss Contest! Join in.

Hey Friends!

For anyone who needs weight loss motivation, accountability, or just want to make your health journey fun, check this out:

My friend, Jamie Ivey – DreamingBigDreams, joined in on our Slow-Carb Challenge in January and did an awesome job!  She has now put together a fun weight loss contest for April.  You can do any weight loss plan you want.  Here’s the low down…

Everyone will submit $10 to the pot and the winner gets 1/2 and 2nd & 3rd place each get 1/4 of it.  It’s based on percentage lost and NOT lbs.

Jamie has created a FACEBOOK group for this event, so let me know if you want to join and I will send an invitation to join the group.  This is the best way to get encouragement, meet new people on the same journey you are on, and get tips and recipes on healthy food.

Email me ASHLEY@ASHLEYBENSONFITNESS.COM or leave a comment below if you want to join.  At that point I will give you the specific rules and details.  Oh, and share this with your friends and family… they might want to join with you 🙂

8 FOOD TO EAT EVERY DAY

put together a list of 
8 Foods You Should Eat EVERY DAY…
BLUE BERRIES
BLACK BEANS
TOMATOES
WALNUTS
CARROTS
SPINACH
YOGURT
OATS

This is a great list to check off everyday!  For the most part I eat SLOW-CARB, but I add in 1 smoothie a day that gives me these other foods for a balanced diet.  

theSMOOTHIE
1/4 cup carrot juice
lots of spinach!
frozen berries
greek yogurt
local honey
a little kale
1/2 banana
flax seeds
oatmeal
water

For more smoothie options, take a look at the
 SMOOTHIE SHOPPING LIST

Get your black beans and tomatoes in
and eat walnuts for a snack!

EAT FOR YOUR HEALTH PEOPLE!!!

The winners of the Slow-Carb Challenge are…

Suzi Richardson!!!
 Winner of the SLOW-CARB CHALLENGE Biggest Results
and
Casey Milleson!!!
 Winner of the most intense SLOW-CARB moment
CONGRATULATIONS  
WAY TO GO YOU GUYS!!!  

Suzi’s Story


After stumbling upon the Slow-Carb Challenge here on the blog, Suzi was encouraged to pursue a healthier lifestyle. The past few weeks have taught her to prepare food that is healthy and filling.
Wait for it……. so far, 
Suzi has lost 22 pounds!!!!! 
 She says she is not done: 
 “I look forward to the next couple of months…stay tuned.”
AWESOME JOB Suzi!!!

Casey’s Story

WHAT WEEK OF THE DIET WERE YOU IN? 

Week 5
WHERE WERE YOU? 
 Panera Bread
WHAT FOOD WAS THE TEMPTER? 
 French baguette…the amazing crunchy outside with a soft inside….mmmm!
HOW DID YOU DISTRACT YOURSELF? 
 I ended up leaving!
DID OTHERS ENCOURAGE YOU TO RESIST THE NON-SLOW CARB FOOD, OR WAS IT ALL YOU? 
 Just me.
HOW CLOSE WERE YOU TO CHEATING? 
 About one nano second away.
“Here’s what happened.  I met a friend at Panera for her to show me some logos she created for my new etsy shop.Panera was convenient.I just posted earlier in our Facebook group about how much I wanted bread.  I was supposed to go to a friend’s house immediately after this meeting, so I decided to order a salad to go. Went up and ordered it sans cheese.  Then the lady said, “Would you like chips, bread or an apple with that?”I hesitated for a moment and chose the healthy option… apple.  Then I realized I couldn’t have that and said never mind.So I pay and go wait for my salad sans cheese.  )I’m not bitter about not having cheese or anything!! Haha)My buzzer goes off and I went to grab my salad.  Before the lady gave me the bag, she said, “Do you want a baguette or another side with that?”  At that moment, I ALMOST just gave in.  I really wanted bread.  I’ve done a great job lasting this long.  I deserved bread!  But I quickly declined and left before I could change my mind.  Whew, cheating diverted.”

What Casey did is SO hard… just say “NO” and walk away.  When you’ve been SO good, when you are SO close to the end… why not?  Well, because she set a goal and did not quit short of the finish line!  
A HUGE WIN FOR CASEY!
I know that Casey is a rock star for 2 reasons:

1] The first time I did the Slow-Carb Diet, about 2 years ago, I didn’t make it to the 6 week.  I stopped in the 5th week :/
2] I have eaten at Panera while on the Slow-Carb Diet, and it was NOT GREAT!  I really missed the bread!  This fall (I believe) they actually had 4 salads that were slow-carb and REALLY good!.. still miss the bread.

I hope you guys enjoy your prize package!  May you continue with  momentum as you walk in your new healthy lifestyle.

thePRIZES
I want to give a shout out to ALL of my new friends who took this 6 week journey with me.  You ALL are winners 🙂  I apologize about the big jeans that have to be replaced, the belts that need more hole, and all the clothes that just don’t fit anymore. 🙂 The past 6 weeks has set us on the right path to live out a healthy lifestyle for the rest of our lives!  

“My habits are completely different…I’m adding fruit back into my life (fruit, glorious fruit) and I’m finding it feels more like a treat… I still love chocolate but when I have some it’s only a couple of bites, instead of the whole pan of brownies in just 2 or 3 sittings!…My portions sizes are also much smaller… I fill up much quicker on much lighter food…If I’m still hungry when I’ve finished my meal… I find something that grows in the ground or that is high in protein to satisfy the hunger… I have confidence again!”  Rochelle 

“This has been the easiest way of eating for me.  I DO NOT CRAVE anything.  I DO NOT get up in the morning thinking of where we can go eat today.  I am not obsessed with food anymore.”  Carole

Carole has lost 11 inches and her hubby Chris has lost 14 lbs!  
WooooWhooooo!!! 

“I decided to let my clothes do the measuring for me.  I have a favorite belt I wear.  When I started I had it in the first hole, now I wear it in the 3rd hole.”  Teresa

Teresa lost 10 pounds on the 6 week challenge! 

Read Jamie’s Slow-Carb Results HERE!
Read more SLOW-CARB QUOTES & CONVERSATIONS HERE
For tips on moving from the Slow-Carb Diet to “real life”
read THIS.
STAY HEALTHY FRIENDS!

A Letter to the Slow-Carbers

Hey there SLOW CARB FRIENDS!
Can you believe we are in our 6th week!  For many of us it has been extremely hard breaking bad habits, battling cravings and developing a new form of self discipline!  I have heard so many awesome testimonies.  I hope you will pass yours along to encourage others!

WHAT’S NEXT?
 After you do your final weigh-in/measurements/after pictures, pull out the goals and data you recorded at the beginning.  Now answer these questions.  Write it down!
  • How many inches you lost all together? 
  • How much weight did you loose? 
  • How are your clothes fitting now?
  • How do you feel now compared to your old eating style?
  • Did you reach your goal?

NOT REACHED YOUR GOAL YET?
Keep going on the slow carb diet a while longer.  Be sure to include healthy nutritious foods in on your cheat days.

COMING OFF THE SCD?
DO NOT PANIC!  You have set up new habits and cravings that you will continue implementing.  Be smart about moving forward.  Start by adding back healthy foods that you want to eat gradually.  
What I do:  I realize that I can have a slice of Ezekiel bread in the morning with my eggs!  YAY!  This feels like such a treat!!!  I want to also add back my 3pm smoothie.  YES it is super healthy and I feed it to my kids every morning, but it does have more sugar than I’ve had in a while.  Before the diet I would have added 1-2 cups of fruit and some OJ.  Now I am just as happy with 1/2 cup of fruit and water as the base.  

THE GOOD NEWS
  You have the tools now to take control over your eating!  Let’s just say you come off the SCD and after 3 months realize your body is taking backwards steps.  Well, tweak your diet in small ways.  It won’t be nearly as shocking as it was this time!  When I have a beach trip coming up, or some reason I want to drop some body fat, I hop back on the diet for a while. 
 It gets easier and easier!!!

EXERCISE
  For the past 6 weeks you have put your FULL attention and energy into every bite that went into your mouth!  Well now that good habits have been established, it’s time to push into your exercise routine to support your goals.  If you put the same attention into how and what you are doing to exercise, you will set yourself up for continual success!

Check out these WORKOUTS and EXERCISES HERE.  I will continue adding to this list, so don’t be a stranger 🙂

WARNING
  Don’t think you can add sugars and slow-releasing carbs back into your diet and still participate in CHEAT DAY expecting positive results!  I know, sad.  Cheat day is a part of the slow carb diet and encourages fat loss when done right.  BUT, take the concept into your life!  Make good choices during the week so that you can indulge during appropriate times with NO GUILT!  I mean, would you rather grab at those M&M’s on your co-workers desk all week, or pass them up and enjoy a black and white cupcake from Whole Foods when you go shopping on friday???  
Yes please!

CONSIDER JOINING THIS SUMMER ON A 
HEALTH & FITNESS VACATION!
click HERE for details

SLOW-CARB DEVILED EGGS… w/AVOCADO

My friend, Teresa, brought deviled eggs to the Healthy Food Sampling Party we had at my house last Friday.  They were SO good and I had to try it out myself.  Teresa found this recipe on Pinterest that led to a cute website My Kitchen Of Love.  To make it slow-carb, we left out the mayo and tweaked the seasoning a bit.
My girl Taylor wanted to take this project over last night, so I must give her credit for the eggs “we” made.  SHE actually made them and they were GREAT!
 
what T A Y L O R did…
 
 She made 12 hardboiled eggs and peeled them after they were cool.

She cut the eggs in half length wise, scoop out the egg yoke and put them in a mixing bowl. She smashed the egg yoke, along with an avocado, and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil.
Just like traditional deviled eggs…she transferred the mixture to the egg white halves and then sprinkled them with paprika.
We didn’t take the time to make these look pretty, 
but in the end it didn’t matter that much… they were gone in seconds!
Taylor added mustard and loved it.
INGREDIENTS:
12 hard boiled eggs
1 avocado
salt and pepper
garlic powered
olive oil
paprika 
Thank you TAYLOR for helping out in the kitchen!

ZUCChINI PIZZA 2

I have made Zucchini Pizza before but the cheese was the key in making it good.  Now I’m avoiding dairy.  So this is the  Zucchini Pizza 2, and I actually liked it better!  I didn’t miss that cheese at all!
 
WHAT I DID:
I made these for the Slow-Carb sampling party we had on friday.  It was really fun by the way!  Because we were sampling, I cut them into smaller pieces.  It’s much faster to cut them into long slices.

  • Put them in a zip-lock and drizzle olive oil. 
  • Shake up.
  • Lay them flat on foil lined cookie sheet.
  • Put them under the BROILER for 2 minutes.
  • Turn them over and broil an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add spaghetti or pizza sauce on top.
  • Add a slice of pepperoni or turkey on top.
  • Put them back under the broiler for a few minutes.  Watch closely and take out when the pepperoni looks good to you!
 YUMMMY!