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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This is your year to sparkle

As we close out 2014 and embrace a brand new year, I think it's important to talk about New Years resolutions. Why are they so important to us aside from the obvious desire of a fresh start? I believe that we make New Years resolutions each and every year because we want to make our dreams come true.  Whether your dream is to fit back into your "skinny jeans", run a marathon, become a healthier person, get a promotion at work, or finally make that big move you've always wanted to make, the time is now!  Whatever your goals may be, this is YOUR year to sparkle.  I believe that being successful, in anything we do in life, comes with working hard one day at a time.  What will you do differently this year that will make your dreams become your reality? This blog is my 2015 challenge to you!



Baby steps:
The optimum way to achieve your goals this year is by taking baby steps. Start by making small changes. When you start to make small changes everyday, you can build off of them little by little.  Before you know it, your small change will have become a HUGE change.  One reason that New Years resolutions are typically over by February 1st is because we bite off more than we can chew. We make unattainable goals, fail, and then revert back to old habits.  Let's say that in 2015 your goal is to become an overall healthier person.  Well, if you love pasta, bread, pizza, and burgers, cutting EVERYTHING out and going cold turkey is going to send you into a relapse. 

What to do:    
My best advice is to map out the year. Start by eliminating one bad thing from your diet, one month at a time. Let's say you want to limit your bread intake for example. In January, make a conscious decision to only eat gluten-free products. This way you won't feel deprived and you will still be able to enjoy all the bread and pasta your heart desires. Then in February, you may choose to limit the amount of gluten-free products you consume.  Each month, make a new goal while maintaining the resolution of the previous month. 

Every diet works:
Did you know that every "diet" out there works?  Paleo, Atkins, Plant-Based, Herbalife, Weight Watchers, Juicing, etc.  The reason that so many people fail is because rather than adapting a new lifestyle and sticking with it, most are looking for a quick fix and when they don't see results after one week, they revert to their old habits and blame the diet.  We MUST change our way of thinking if we want results. You have to accept a new way of living and take baby steps over the next year in order to achieve your goals. 

Plan for set backs:
With anything in life, and especially with weight loss, you are going to experience setbacks. It's an inevitable part of the process. One of my favorite quotes is "life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it".  For example, if you end up pigging out one night unexpectedly, don't let your cheat meal turn into a cheat week. So many people fall off the bandwagon and they are never able to get back up. Food and drugs are alike in so many ways.  Once you "relapse", it can be difficult and discouraging to start again.  I promise you that every change and sacrifice will be worth it. It's hard to see the big picture but this time next year, if you stick with making your baby steps and picking yourself up when you fall... You will be overjoyed on December 31st, 2015! 

Make your dreams come to life:
Im a firm believer in keeping your visions in front of you at all times. Here are some fun ways you can constantly be reminded of your goals.

Write a letter to yourself, seal it, and open it next year.

Write a list of everything you want to accomplish. Hang it somewhere you can see it everyday.

Make a vision board or vision book.

Change your screen saver to something that inspires you.

Make encouraging music playlists.

Map out your year. Create mini goals. Example: I want to be ____ weight by March 1st. I want to lose another ___ pounds by June 1st. My total weight loss goal for 2015 is ______ .

Plan out your baby steps. Example: my overall goal is to start working out ______ times a week. In January, I will start going _____ times per week. In February, I will add one more day, so on and so forth.

Set up mini rewards. Every time you reach one of your goals, reward yourself with something that will make you happy. Maybe a new pair of jeans, maybe a new dress, or a fancy night out!


Celebrate yourself:
Whether or not 2014 was your year, don't forget to love yourself and show appreciation towards the things you did accomplish. This is not the time to beat yourself up about the things you did wrong, but rather to celebrate the fact that you have the ability to make a change!  There are so many people in the world that are physically and mentally unable to change their state of being due to illness, accidents, and other limitations.  It's so easy to forget how lucky and blessed we truly are.  Celebrate yourself and the changes you are about to embrace and then go out and share your success with the world!


Wishing you all in the best in 2015! 

xoxo 
Ashley 



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

6 Ways to Survive the Holidays


The temptation to fall off the bandwagon over the holidays is REAL.  Even those who are extremely strict with their diet struggle over the holiday season.  Family is in town, we're busy, and there are delicious holiday treats EVERYWHERE.  Don't let all your hard work this past year go under water over the next month! Here are 5 ways to survive a holiday binge.

1.  Bring your own healthy dish.  Get creative with it.  Bring something that you won't feel guilty eating, but that will also make you feel like you're not missing out.  
2.  Exercise.  This is a tough one because when everyone is in town, it's hard to make time to workout .  I promise that even a 10 minute workout will not only make you feel better but it will also get your blood circulation going which is important to keep your metabolism up.  (not to mention that working out will relieve some stress) 
3.  Fill an entire plate with healthy foods first.  Get full off the healthy stuff first and your chances of cheating will decrease.  
4.  Be assertive.  If someone offers you something that you can't eat, politely decline the offer.  Don't be bullied into eating or drinking something that you are going to regret later on. 
5.  Do some healthy snacking all day before your big party.  It's crucial not to let yourself get hungry when there are so many temptations on the table.  
6.  Take the focus off the food.  Enjoy your time with your loved ones and try to focus on other things going on at the party, other than the food! 
7.  Practice healthy holiday cooking.  
Swap Out: 
Butter for coconut oil 
Regular flour for coconut flour, almond flour, gluten-free flour  
Sugar for apple sauce 
Sugar for Vanilla Extract (this cuts about 400 calories out) 
Sugar for stevia 
Oil for apple sauce 
Butter for avocados 
Oil for bananas 
Eggs for Chia seeds 
Chocolate chips for dark chocolate chips 
Peanut butter for reduced fat peanut butter or almond butter 
Eggs for egg whites 
Bread for Ezekiel, brown rice, or gluten free bread 
Syrup for Coconut Nectar 

These little tricks makes a big difference over time.  You can use this blog as a tool not only for the holidays but for any situation where you will be tempted to cheat! I hope this helps and I hope that you can end 2014 will a bang! 

Xoxo 
Ashley 

For clean recipes for the holidays, Click HERE. 






Monday, December 1, 2014

Tips to Feel Skinnier by the End of the Day

Did you have too much of a good thing over thanksgiving?  Don’t beat yourself up.. we all did!  The best way to bounce back from a weekend of overindulging is to counteract with consuming as many fruits and veggies as possible.  Follow these simple tricks and by the end of the day you will shed some of the bloat!  


Morning: 
Start the day off with 1 glass of fresh lemon, ginger water. 

Take a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning and before all meals.
This will balance your entire body… which after a weekend of eating bad foods, we mostly likely threw our bodies completely out of whack.  Apple cider vinegar not only has detoxing properties but it will also stimulate your digestion and suppress your appetite.  It also regulates the amount of sodium stored in the body.

For breakfast, have a green smoothie or juice (for recipe click HERE) with parsley.  If you are thinking..”ew, no way!” you wont be able to taste the parsley, I promise.  Parsley helps flush fluids from the body and encourages digestion.  Parsley also has several anti-inflammatory properties!

Snack: 
Fill up a big water bottle full of water and aloe vera juice and sip throughout the day, all day long.  The water and the aloe will flush your system.

Tea to sip on throughout the day: 
Green Tea 
Dandelion Root Tea 
Ginger Tea 
Peppermint Tea 
Apple Cider Vinegar with Hot Water 

If you hate drinking tea, you can purchase dandelion root pills.  The pills are actually more potent than the tea which help you lose water weight more quickly.    


Lunch: 
Water Weightloss Juice with Detox Salad & Lemon Dressing 

Juice Recipe
juice or purchase fresh, plain cranberry juice. mix with two dandelion root tea bags, lemon juice, and water.  This helps you lose water weight because it breaks down waste and fats during digestion.  

Your detox salad recipe:  2 cups of Kale, 2 cups of purple cabbage, 1/2 cup of parsley, 1 cup of carrots, 1 cup of sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoons of sesame seeds, cherry tomatoes, 1/2 avocado sliced up.  For the dressing, mix 1/2 cup of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of olive oil.  Mix in 2 tablespoons of garlic, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper, and a pinch of cayenne.   

Dinner:  
For your last meal, enjoy this delicious detox quinoa & veggie salad.  click HERE for the recipe!

End your day with a relaxing Detox Bath and Smooth Move Tea. 
The bath will help pull out and remove toxins from the body.  The smooth move tea is great if you feel backed up and bloated. You can purchase smooth move tea at most health food stores!
Bath:
5 cups of epsom salt 
2 cups of baking soda 
1 cups of sea salt 
1 tbs of ground ginger 
1 cup of vinegar 
a few drops of oil (lavender, tea tree, orange peel etc.)

XoXo 
Ashley 
For daily tips and recipes, click HERE to follow me on twitter or follow me on instagram at ashleynicolemora1


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Reboot Your Immune System

5 smoothie recipes that give your immune system just the boost it needs over winter. 

Banana Orange Smoothie 
1 banana 
2 large carrots 
1 1/2 cups of orange juice 
1 container of plain greek yogurt 
1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
1 cup of ice 

Banana Colada 
1  cup of coconut milk 
1 cup of pineapple 
1/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut 
1 banana 
1 cup of ice 

Orange-Raspberry Smoothie 
1 cup of coconut milk 
1 cup of raspberries 
1 banana 
1/2 cup of orange juice 

Cold Kicker 
1 orange 
1 cup of kale 
1 cup of spinach 
1 large carrot 
1 apple 
1 cup of blueberries 
1 beet 
1 cup of ice 

Strawberry-Ginger Smoothie 
1 cup of strawberries 
1 banana 
1 apple
1 cup of coconut milk 
1 inch of ginger 
1 cup of ice 


Place all of these ingredients in a blender and blend! Not to be confused with a juicer.  If you want more information on the difference between juicing and blending, click HERE.

If you prefer fresh juice and not smoothies, click HERE for flu fighting juice recipes


XoXo
Ashley 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Let Your Food Be Your Pharmacy


Flu season has officially kicked off! The colds, fevers, runny noses, sore throats, headaches, and congestion are in full swing.  We all know the signs, and who has time to be sick these days?! The good news is, with a few immunity-boosting juice recipes we can fight that winter misery. Don't let the cold catch you!


Immune Enhancer
2 Gala Apples 
5 Carrots 
1 Inch of Ginger 
1 Lemon
(a pinch of cayenne for the daring) 
Wash and properly prep. Place in juicer. Juice!

Big Green Cold Fighting Machine 
1 cup of Spinach 
1 cup of Kale
6 Brussels Sprouts 
1 Jalapeno 
2 Garlic Cloves 
1 Lime 
2 Cucumbers 
Wash and properly prep. Place in juicer. Juice!
 
Orange Sparkler 
1/2 Pineapple 
2 Oranges
1 Lemon 
2oz of Sparkling Water
Wash and properly prep, Place in juicer, Juice, add sparkling water! 

Angry Apple Fizz 
1 inch of Ginger 
1 Pear 
2 Apples 
2oz of Sparkling Water 
Wash and properly prep, Place in juicer, Juice, add sparkling water!

Warm Ginger Tea 
(good for the stomach flu)
2 inches of Ginger 
2 Lemons 
4 cups of boiling water 
 Juice ingredients and then add boiling water

Grab a juice rather than over the counter medicine
If you already have a cold these recipe are also good for easing symptoms.  I highly encourage you to fight flu season the natural way! When you give the body what it needs (fruits and vegetables) you are giving your body the proper fuel to function.  Rather than going to the store and purchasing over-priced, chemically-filled medicine, grab a juice and super-charge your immune system! 
Please keep in mind that these JUICE recipes are designed to juiced in a juicer. If you try and blend these, you will most likely have an overflowing blender! If you prefer smoothies over juice, you are in luck! Stay tuned later this week for flu fighting smoothie recipes.


If you are interested in doing a juice cleanse click here. 
For more juice recipes click here. 


Stay tuned for Flu Fighting Smoothie Recipes!
XoXo 
Ashley 

For daily tips recipes follow me on 
or  
On Instagram: ashleynicolemora1

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Juicy Truth on Going Green


Why you should be starting each morning off with a green juice or smoothie! 
If you are anything like me, weight loss and maintaining weight is extremely hard.  Trust me when I say, I've been on just about every "diet" out there.  In the past I've tried protein, supplements, fat burners, low carb, everything you can imagine! Although I had temporary success... whenever I deviated from the plan in the slightest way, I ended up gaining everything back and then some,  which left me feeling completed defeated.  That is until I started drinking greens regularly! 

If you are reading this thinking, "that's me" I have good news... You don't have to live that way anymore.  Just by making a few small changes you can achieve your dream weight and improve your overall health.  All you need to do is Go Green.  

Start off taking baby steps.  I want to challenge you to start swapping your breakfast out with 1 green juice or smoothie.  Think of each night as a mini fast and upon wakening you have the chance to cleanse, detox, and reboot your system with a delicious green drink.  

Green juices and smoothies are very easy on the digestive system... think of this as giving your digestive system a little break.  This allows your digestive system to start breaking down old foods that may be stored in the body, in lieu of breaking down a heavy breakfast.  This is one reason why drinking greens in the morning is fat flushing... cool, I know! The most powerful and health boosting thing you can do for your body is let fresh juiced/blended up greens be the first thing that enters your system.  I cannot emphasize how important it is to start each day off with a green drink! Green juice cleans out your system and your blood, which actually boots your energy and sets you up to be awake and alert the rest of the day.  

Juicy benefits of starting each day with a Green Juice or Smoothie: 

Weight Loss 
Boots Immune System 
Increased Energy
Cleanses your blood stream
Increased Nutrient Intake 
Bigger Variety of Vegetables are Consumed 
Glowing Skin 
Hair Growth 
Hair Shine 
Reverse Dark Circles 
Reverse Aging 
Disease Prevention 


So, for one month ditch the eggs and coffee and just try this out.  What do you have to lose?  There will come a point where at night, all you will think about is having your green drink in the morning! After you start making green drinks part of your morning routine, I guarantee you'll never want to go back! 

For green juice recipes click here
For green smoothie recipes click here. 




Update:  For those of you who have been reading my blog, you know that I lost over 30 lbs a year ago when I started making these exact small changes.  I am happy and proud to say that for the first time in my life I have been able to keep the weight off!  Sure, there were a few times I went out of town, overindulged, and gain a few pounds but I was able to lose it right away.  I still fit into the "skinny jeans" I bought last december when all the weight came off (woo hoo!) and I have never felt healthier in my entire life! 

Curent before & after.

If you have any question please feel free to message, comment, or tweet me! 

Instagram: ashleynicolemora1 
Twitter: MissAshleyMoora 


XoXo 
-Ashley 



Monday, October 27, 2014

5 Smoothies for Long Luscious Hair

We all want it... that beautiful long luscious looking hair!


Did you know that damaged and corse hair can be caused by our diet?  The good news is we can reverse hair loss and damaged hair with a few delicious recipes! In fact, we can actually promote hair growth just by adding a few ingredients into our daily diet.

I typically blog about juicing, but keep in mind that these are smoothie recipes, so you will want to use a blender for these.. not a juicer!

Drink one each morning as your breakfast and you will be well on your way to healthier hair and skin.  These smoothies also promote weight loss, detoxification, disease prevention, bright eyes, increased energy, and improve over all health! #winning 

Hair Health Smoothies 

Glowing hair and skin

1 cup of spinach
1 cup of kale
1 banana
1 1/2 cups of pineapple
1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut or almond milk

Shiny Hair

2-3 cups of spinach
1 cucumber
1 avocado
1 cup of blueberries
1 banana

Long Luscious Hair

2 cups of romaine
2 cups of kale
1 cucumber
1 lemon
1/2 cup of water
1 pear

No More Split Ends 

2 cups of kale
1 cup of spinach
1 cup of blueberries
1 pear
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of ice

Minty Morning 

1/2 avocado
2 cups of kale
1 cup of spinach
1/2 granny smith apple
1/2 cup of mint leaves
1 cup of water


For all my juicers out there, you can absolutely juice these recipes if you prefer a juicer rather than a smoothie.  Keep in mind that the ingredient amounts will change and you cannot juice a banana or an avocado!

I highly encourage you to exchange your typical breakfast with one green smoothie.  Starting each day with green smoothie or juice will work wonders not only on your physical appearance but it will also start changing the way your body works on the inside.  Flushing your body out each morning with powerhouse food and greens will truly make you 'Sparkle From The Inside Out'

Have a fabulous week!
XoXo
Ashley

For Daily Tips and Recipes follow me on: 

Instagram: ashleynicolemora1 
Twitter: MissAshleyMoora 




Monday, October 20, 2014

Best Apps That Assist With Weight Loss

"Keep Your Goals In Front Of You" 
In order to accomplish any goal, it's vital that we constantly remind ourselves why we started in the first place, especially when trying to lose weight.  It's no surprise that losing weight can be difficult.  We can become tempted, tired, or hit a plateu at any given moment.  

In most cases, we are on our cell phones 24/7 whether it be texting, emailing, surfing the web etc.  What we are constantly looking at and listening to affects us more than we can possibly imagine!  It becomes a part of who we are, it starts to define us.  This is why I think it is so important to keep a few apps on your phone that can not only assist you in your weight loss journey, but apps that will also keep you on track and motivated. 

1.  My Fitness Pal- Free 

This app is both iPhone & Android friendly.  This is one of the most useful apps you can use! From the beginning it takes your weight, height, goal weight, and lifestyle and then gives you recommendations.  This app completely takes the "guessing game" out of eating and eating out.  Not to mention.. its VERY simple to use.  You can scan the barcode on all the food items you eat throughout the day instead of having to enter and search for what you are eating.  It also has a plethora of restaurant menu items making it easy to track what you are eating when dining out (it even  has local restaurants!) My fitness pal also tracks carbs, fats, sodium & cholesterol so you are aware of exactly what you are putting into your body.  There is so much more that this app does.. I could go on and on, however if there is one app that you decide to download, it should definitely be this one. 

2.  Map My Walk/ Map My Run- Free 

These two apps track just about everything when it comes to walking and running.  They track route, pace, calories burned and distance.  It's simple to use and has several tools to keep you motivated throughout your workout.  Map My Run and Map My Walk feature voice prompts that give you updates throughout your workout but don't worry, the voice comes on in the background so you can still listen to your favorite workout playlist! 

3.  My Model- Free 

This is just a fun app.  You enter in your height, weight, goal weight, skin tone, face, hair, body shape and outfit. This app creates an image of what you look like now, and what you will look like when you reach your goal weight.  It also give you the option to track your weight loss so it will show model like figures as you get closer and closer to reaching your goal!  Like I said earlier, keeping your goals in front of you is powerful!  

4.  7 Minute Fitness- Free

  The challenge is to do 7 minutes a day for 7 months. This app gives you 7 minute workouts that require zero workout equipment.  Sounds easy right?  This app was designed to provide the maximum benefit of working out regularly in the shortest time possible.  The workouts include a variety of cardio, fat burning, strengthening, and stretching routines.  You can also upgrade later on to an app that costs a few dollars and provides more workouts but it's not nessecary.  

5.  Juicing- Free 

I like this app because it's free and offers thousands of juice recipes.  You can hit one button 'Add Ingredients To Cart' and it provides you with a grocery list.  It also shows the calories in each recipe and offers anywhere from a 1 day cleanse to a 30 day cleanse.  You can set reminders on this app and it will notify you of when you need to drink your next juice! 

6.  Bible Encouragement- Free 

Love this app! It provides encouraging Bible verses to accommodate you through the roller coaster ride of weight loss.  It's easy to use and it's so satisfying to tell God exactly how you are feeling.  There are over 35 different emotions to chose from, all of which provide Bible verses and a quote that correlate with what you are feeling.  


 7.  Daily Fitness Motivation 

This app shows motivational images and allows you to set reminders with motivational affirmations and images.  The affirmations and quotes will always put you in a positive mindset! 


8.  Songza -Free 
Have you ever gone to a workout, spin class, yoga, or aerobics class and LOVED the music?  This is the only place I have been able to find similar pump up playlists and the REAL artists are singing (not a knock off version of a song, a lot of the remixes online sound like kids bop) You can choose playlists based on your activity or your mood.  My favorite playlists are Massive Pop Hits: The Remixes and 00s Club Bangers ;) 




I hope you enjoy some of, if not all of these apps! I use most of them daily and I absolutely love them.  Don't lose sight of your vision and your goals.  Set those daily reminders to trigger your motivation and most importantly, remember why you started! Weight loss is a journey and all you can do is take it one step at a time :) You can do it! 

XoXo 
Ashley 

For Daily Tips and Recipes follow me on: 

Instagram: ashleynicolemora1 
Twitter: MissAshleyMoora 


Monday, October 6, 2014

Calories vs. Chemicals Part 1

Happy Monday everyone! Welcome to Calories vs. Chemicals part 1. 

In an effort to not gain the freshman 15 in college, I survived off of diet coke and lean pockets.  I thought diet coke was the most amazing thing since sliced bread and the lean pockets had way less calories than actual pizza... If I only knew what I was putting into my body! Once I stopped obsessing over calories and actually started to look at the ingredients in the food I was eating, (along with juicing) I then became successful in losing 30+lbs

 Throughout my year long journey as an avid juicer, I have learned so much about food and the myths behind what the food industry has had us eating up for years.  The biggest lesson learned has been that calories are not scary... the toxic chemical overload in food is.  Toxic chemicals are constantly accumulating in our bodies because the industry has had us obsessing over calories for years with labels like: "Low Calorie" "No Calorie" "100 Calories" 


Let me ask you a question... When you are purchasing your groceries and you turn your food or drink item over to check the calories, protein, fat etc.  How often are you checking the ingredients? 

   
When we focus only on the calories, we miss the fact that in exchange they are filling our food with toxic chemicals.  

& the scariest part about this is 

The more we fill our bodies with nutrient dense foods & empty calories, the harder we make it on ourselves to lose weight and the more we put our health at risk.  

Here is a short 2 minute video on chemicals in our food! I love this video and the way it describes what science and technogoly is doing to our food.



Let's take a look a protein bar.  Most of us think a protein bar is an optimal healthy snack.  They have protein, tons of delicious flavors, they're portable... something we can keep in our car or purse.  In hindsight, it's perfect! Not to mention that it comes off as a healthy alternative. 

At a first glance we see 20 grams of protein 
Flip it over and read
Calories: 280 
Fat: 10g 
Carb: 29g 
Protein: 20g 


Ingredients: 
Soy protein, isolate, beet juice concentrate, organic brown rice syrup, organic dried cane syrup, palm kernel oil, organic peanuts, cocoa, organic rolled oats, vegetable glycerin, soy protein concentrate, natural flavors, peanuts, peanut flour, rice starch, organic sunflower oil, unsweetened chocolate, inulin (chicory extract) sea salt, organic oat fiber, soy, lecithin, calcium carbonate, organic vanilla extract, cocoa butter, vanilla extract, natural vitamin E, calcium, carbonate, magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid, DL-Aplha tocopheryl acetate, thiamine monoitrate, beta carotene, niacin amide, D-Calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, erocalciferol, cyanocobalamin, potassium iodide.  


Can you pronounce that last sentence?  I know I had a hard time with it.  I am not in any way trying to discredit protein bars or say that you should never eat them. I am just simply trying to bring awareness to the chemical overload in foods we think are better than others.  


3 Rules of Thumb

 If you can't pronounce it, Don't eat it 

Try to stick to prepackaged or frozen foods that have 10 ingredients or less 

If it has a long shelf life, put it down 



If anything, I encourage you to start reading the labels on the back of food.  When you can, buy local. Food should always come from the farm and go straight to your table.  Ditch the diet and just be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself that you can be! 

Stay tuned for part 2 later this week, where we will compare and decode labels! 

XoXo
-Ashley 

For Daily Tips and Recipes follow me on: 

Instagram: ashleynicolemora1 
Twitter: MissAshleyMoora