The Vegetarian Project

Good night, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your Fri-YAY and are ready for a long weekend. Some of you may be going on spring break, so congratulations on getting through midterms! Now that he salutations are out of the way, I’m here to announce that I’ve decided that I’m going to attempt vegetarianism for the next month. Oh! And to also mention that I’ve officially cut my hair short and dyed my hair red (picture will be posted below). 

I am super excited to be attempting vegetarianism. I have plenty of friends and family who are vegan. It’s just time I attempt to hop onto that same train, but unfortunately I don’t hold the self control they hold so I will not be giving up my milk and cookies. Now a lot of you maybe wondering if I’m cutting meat out of my diet cold turkey. That is not the case. I have always had a relatively light meat in take for a long while and am just ready to take the next step in improving my health/diet. I’ve battled with stomach sensitivity and ulcers since I graduated high school due to high levels of stress and malnutrition. Although, I am still a work in progress and it’s just time to take that extra step in taking care of myself. 

It is now time to explain my title. This project isn’t necessarily a project that I consider broadcasting to the whole world, but more to keep me accountable in the decision I’ve made. I am doing this to give it a go and if I ultimately feel I can’t do it then I’ll just slowly return meat into my daily diet. Now if you want to join me in my journey towards vegetarianism then please do! I will not stop you from sharing your results with either vegetarianism or veganism. If you have tips or recipes even better! Now this blogpost is just a little update post so I’m going to keep it short. I will mention to stay tuned for results and diaries on my vegetarian project! 

Thanks and love always,

Ash. 
Here’s the new look!


I kind of feel like Velma Dinkley for all those who are still fans of Scooby Do. 

My Drugstore Skincare Routine!

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Good morning! Happy first week of April! We’re all one step closer to summer and free of any educational torture! Hooray! Well it would be if I weren’t going to take summer school. Hahahahaha! And working both of my jobs at the same time. I am posting later than usual because I had gotten upset with myself because I had created an amazing video for you all on myself doing my actual skincare routine, but the genius I am accidentally deleted the video thinking it was something else. So instead I’m just going to give you a written run down of what I attempt to do daily and weekly.

So my daily routine:

My daily routine consists of four simple tasks twice a day.

  1. Washing with a deep pore charcoal cleanser. (My daily cleanser currently is Bioré Charcoal! Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser, but I want to try the acne version that they just released.)
    • My skin loves to play games. I am constantly battling with blackheads and from my constant research I’ve learned that charcoal cleansers are what are best for my skin. Charcoal, does it not only help purify the skin of any dirt, but it helps control the oiliness of my skin.
  2.  Then after I’ve washed I let my face air dry or I use a paper towel to dry off.
    • DO NOT USE A TOWEL. I REPEAT DO NOT USE A TOWEL. Using a towel, especially one that’s already been used, is what causes the skin to breakout. For best results just let your face air dry. Find something to do like brush your teeth or comb out your hair (make sure to be using a wide tooth comb when detangling your hair after a shower).
  3. Once my face is dry I go with a cotton ball and rub my face in either a witch hazel solution.
    • I am currently using a new version of the old witch hazel I used. It’s an astringent, which is supposed to help remove any left over dirt that may have not come off after washing.
  4. Lastly I go in and apply my moisturizer, but I decided not to post it because I am not content with the one I am using currently.

My weekly routine consists of two tasks that I only do twice a week because my skin is super sensitive, but you’re more than welcome to do it up to three times a week.

  1. So I try to use my charcoal self heating mask (which feels AH-MAZING by the way) on Wednesday because that’s midweek and when I’m outdoors the most.
    • Basically the box says it all. You massage the mask for one to two minutes throughout your face and just as the charcoal wash is supposed to help purify your face of any yuck that’s not supposed to be on it.
  2. After I’ve completed my mask, I go in and use pore strips.
    • I use pore strips because like I said at the beginning I struggle with blackheads. Blackheads are my biggest battle when it comes to my skin. On top of pore strips, I try to use facial masks that are peel off because aside from offering benefits such as toning and brightening the skin, it removes some of the blackheads that are in more difficult places such as my cheeks and chin.

So there you have it guys, I know it’s not as fun as a video, but it’s just as informative. I am currently taking suggestions on moisturizer if you guys have any and I’m planning to do an actual video (I swear not to delete it this time) on some of the actual face masks I use from LUSH. As always thank you so much for all of your positive feedback and constructive criticism! You guys are the reason why I continue to blog!

Much Love,

Ash.

It’s Been A While…

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Buenos noches, guys! I hope you guys have all been well and have kept occupied these past couple of weeks that I have been gone. I have been overwhelmed with work that I haven’t had a chance to log on and blog. You got to admit though, I’ve been doing a lot better compared to last year where I only blogged every few months or so. Now tonight’s blog post is my sharing that I have gone a few pant sizes since I decided to work on my health over the transition from 2016 to 2017. I wanted to share my progress along with some exciting tips I have found work best for me and maybe might work best for you.

Now a couple of blog posts ago, I openly admitted to having struggled with my personal body image for years. I announced that I had come to terms with the person I see now in the mirror, and that I can only strive to be the best I can be in a time where I have felt at my lowest due to my work schedule and eating habits. I’ve encountered so many weight loss regimes and ways to lose weight that I had begun to become discouraged with the whole idea of a quick fix to my situation. I had to sit myself down for a talk and tell myself that these things don’t come overnight or over a week or a month or even a year. I told myself that I would do me and see where it goes from there. I avoided any sort of body wraps, dieting pills, and weight loss plans in hopes to challenge myself in the journey I want to make in 2017. I wanted to attempt to do it a more natural way and I am not discouraging or encouraging anyone to do the same. I am just explaining the best fit for me and hoping that my experience may inspire some of you to continue striving to feel comfortable in yourselves.

My BIGGEST struggle was letting go of my sweet treats and carbs (I continue to enjoy both of them but in moderation). The EASIEST part of my journey so far was adding more greens and healthier proteins to my diet (but only because I never struggled with eating pretty healthy to begin with). I’ve also noticed that I have had a harder time increasing my exercise routine due to my busy schedule at home and at work, so I am trying to improve on my willingness to go to the gym or a run after, or even before, I decide to proceed with my usual routine. Now I must admit that I did try to cheat my way through it at the beginning of this entire process. I made a guilty purchase in a supplement called garcinia cambogia. Although only taking it for a week and a half, I noticed that it didn’t have the affect I wanted it to have and that attempting to make this a quick fix was not going to happen. I tossed the bottle of capsules and just dove head in to what I am attempting to continue to practice today.

Enough about my eternal issues and onto my advice to those trying to start with their own weight loss journey;

  1. I cannot stress enough how important SLEEP is to impacting how you transition into a healthier lifestyle. Lacking sleep does not only affect your weight though. It has been proven that sleep loss, along with a very unhealthy diet, can be one of the leading causes to type 2 diabetes.
  2. After sleep, it is important to up your WATER INTAKE. Increasing your water intake does not only help cleanse your body of toxins and unneeded fats, but can also help promote healthier skin and aid in sleeping.
  3. GREEN is your best friend. Remember when your mother always told you to eat your greens? Well I bet you’re regretting the faces you made at her now when she turned her back. A diet full of greens and PROTEINS aid the body in burning fat and strengthening muscle (Pop Eye had a very strong understanding of the situation).
  4. EXERCISING is your key to success. Although, I feel as though it begins with your diet, a lot believe that exercising and burning those excess calories off is what will ultimately lead to your overall weight loss goal. I am personally still struggling to find a particular outlet I like and takes time to even become comfortable with the idea of exercising. Remember to always take it at your own pace because no weight loss is worth breaking an arm or a leg.
  5. And lastly be POSITIVE about your situation. Do not let the bumps in the road determine your success in doing what is best for you. You are your biggest critic and fan. Regardless of what others say or think it is ultimately something you are doing to make you feel better at the end of the day.

Now good luck and share with me your weight loss secrets. You can find me on social media or through here. Make sure to always be supporting your fellow bloggers by sharing their links and following them on social media. The pictures above were taken a little over a month apart and I am super excited on where 2017 is going to be taking me.

Sweet dreams,

Ash.

Body Image, Body Weight: You Will No Longer Affect Me

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This morning, as I was dragging my finger down my social media feeds, I noticed all the promotional posts on the whole “New Year, New Me” cliche. As most of you know I have struggled with my body image and my actual weight for a number of years now. I’ve posted countless times about my achievements and my struggles, but never actually about how I feel when I look in the mirror.

Growing up I was the chubbier, or as my mom likes to say “la mas gordita”, of the family. I hid behind boy clothes and never wore more than a uniform shirt and sweat pants till the eighth grade. My parents never found a point to buy me jeans that weren’t labeled husky and refuse to buy me shirts from the proper section at the clothing store. Being the weight I was I hit puberty relatively fast meaning I had boobs in like the third grade. Unfortunately, with my mom being in denial about it all, I didn’t receive my first bra till I was in middle school and even then it was a sporting bra. I didn’t get the chance to buy a pair of jeans till I was in high school and my first actual bra wasn’t till I was almost a sophomore when a PE teacher pointed out that what I was wearing was not appropriate for my age.

While all of this was going on I was very depressed. I had considered attempting eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia assuming that they would make this entire situation a quick fix, or saving up for some type of weight loss regiment that you can find online. After high school and a very huge break up, I had grown ill and was forced to change my diet. After changing my diet, I had lost a dramatic amount of weight and once returning to the doctor office for a final visit I was clear to return to routine habits. I didn’t realize that being sick had affected my life so much till I began putting on the weight again. I began to grow more tired, but I made myself believe that I was happy again. Adding to the already toxic situation I was in, I had changed jobs and lost any interest in my health due to the circumstances I was under at work.

Here I am now though. I am here to embrace my struggles and to embrace the weight and shape I am in now. I have learned to love myself and to know that today is one day out of an entire year. I am no longer calling myself ugly or fat. I am not tugging on my extra skin or looking for a scale to see if I have lost anything as of late. I am not looking into weight loss programs or watching endless infomercials on products that I cannot even read half the ingredients on. Now, I am not saying that I am not looking to enhance my body image, I am currently attempting to focus on finding an exercise routine and correcting my eating habits, but I have learned to do this for my health and not my body image. I have learned that feeling healthy is the biggest battle when it comes to how you see and present yourself.

Here’s to us. Here’s not to a “new year, new me”, but a new me in general. My body image is not going to affect me negatively anymore, but I am going to embrace every curve, every dimple, every cellulite, and every stretch mark. I’m going to love me. I’m going to be my biggest fan and I am not going to compare myself to others. Here’s to being healthy again.

Tips I Have Come Across To Promote a Positive Body Image and Positive Weight Loss:

  1. When you are attempting to lose any sort of weight don’t measure it by actual pounds, but measure it in something more attainable such as pant sizes.
  2. Do not, and I repeat, do not count calories. Counting calories leads to malnutrition. Calories are the necessary energy to help you burn fat.
  3. Instead of counting calories, try to focus more on what you are putting into your body. Ask yourself if you’re meeting all the food groups and are you exercising enough to burn the calories you are comsuming.
  4. Find something you love to do. If you like to hike then make a goal to explore new trails. If you like to dance then join a studio class (gyms such as 24 Hour Fitness offer classes with your membership).
  5. Lastly, you are your biggest support group. When you’re feeling confident in yourself then take a picture. Who cares if you’re bloated or you have a cellulite or if you have stretch marks? You feel as though you earned that cheat meal then let yourself have it. Do not allow you to discourage yourself from your ultimate goal.

Xoxo,

Ash.

Healthy Mind = Healthy Life

Happy Sunday and first week of October! I am super excited because my favorite time of year is coming very quickly, and that the holidays are around the corner. Although this might be an exciting time of year for me, it might not be so exciting for others. As most of you know I am a huge believer in focusing on mental and emotional health. With the holidays approaching very quickly suicide rates are rising. I wanted to talk today about how important it is to acknowledge the signs and if you are experiencing any to seek help whether it’s from a friend or professional.

Struggling with depression is never easy. It takes a tole on the strongest of people and it is not uncommon for depression to go unnoticed. I struggled with coming to terms with my own for years before deciding to seek help. People talk about depression and/or anxiety being a trend and something to cool to have, but those who struggle with it know the horrors it can cause in someone. These thoughts begin to develop and a lot of us do not understand why. We wonder how the world would be without us. We try to understand how our loved ones would feel if we were gone or what’s after our life here on earth. We contemplate ways to end our life and try to fathom some type of emotional reaction from ourselves, but it never seems to happen.

After battling with my own obstacles and helping children raging from ages as early as two and as old as eighteen, I’ve learned that these thoughts are not okay. That when these thoughts occur we need to seek guidance from someone who understands these things from a medical perspective. Working in a mental health clinic for children helped me understand what I was struggling with and how I could take steps in preventing these thoughts from ever becoming a reality. Ending your own life should never be an option. Every person on this earth has something they were meant to do. We live in a society today where suicide rate is at an all time high and mental health professionals are in demand more than ever.

Here is my advice to you;

  1. Find someone who can help. This someone doesn’t necessarily need to be someone you know. I know personally I felt uncomfortable with opening up to friends or family at the time because I feared judgement.
  2. Do something you love. One of the most common things I’ve heard from multiple therapists is that doing something you enjoy helps stimulate positive reactions, which ultimately leads to lowering anxiety and/or depression.
  3. Find positive ways to relieve stress. Exercising is one of the most common ones that I have heard use. Exercise is also another one of those things that allows you to let off some physical steam without inflicting any sort of self harm.
  4. In an emergency, contact 911 or an crisis hotline. If you or anyone you may know is contemplating suicide please call local help or a crisis hotline. They are people who want to save lives and want to make sure you are receiving the help you need. Contacting your local police station or admitting yourself into a hospital will not affect your life negatively. People fear if seeking help from public authorities will remain on their record when if it is not reported to a court nothing will remain on your criminal record. If finding help through your local authorities isn’t an option, then seek help from a crisis hotline. There are so many medians of getting in contact with a crisis hotline now that it doesn’t always necessarily mean making a phone call.

Suicide is never an option and getting the mental/emotional help you need is as important as receiving help for your physical health.

Healthier for Me…

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As most of you now know based off of my previous blogs on Blogspot, that I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I was always picked on by most of my family and a lot of my peers growing up because of my weight. I had taken it upon myself over the years to try to lose it, and when I feel as though I was making progress a huge speed bump seem to always get in my way.

This year, it’s going to be different. I am a new me and I have taken it upon myself to join a gym. Along with joining a gym, I have acquired a workout buddy who has been supporting me 100% of the way. She is amazing and has been training me to exercise right. Following my workout buddy, a close friend of mine has helped me with eating clean and she has been another huge supporter in my fitness journey. I hope to maybe have little Vlogs up with both of them and hopefully will be constant faces in the future.

Do you guys have certain fitness blogs or social media pages you want to share! Send me their links or their @ names so I can check them out. Maybe I’ll post a few snapshots of me attempting some of their workouts.

Much Love,

Ash.

No One Likes Mondays..

Mondays are never fun, but I think we all know that one. They’re long and they make up the beginning of either the school or work week. I got a few recommendations on doing a post about how to start a morning right, and although I don’t know exactly the right way to start a morning, I can offer you my morning routine.

When it comes to actually following a set routine I suck, but I do have things I do on a daily basis that will hopefully inspire all of you to get to doing something that will help the day go by faster.

So first and foremost, I have like a million alarms. Depending on the day there will be days where I’m at 4:30 am and others where I don’t have to be up till 8:30 am. Down below is an actual picture of my set alarms.

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Secondly I try to incorporate a run into my morning, but if I can’t get it in I decide just to take the stairs at work, but obviously stairs are not always going to be the best source of exercise.

Third, always make sure to pamper yourself. Mondays and mornings are brutal, so you want to make sure you start the day off right with either a face mask or a Starbucks trip, but being the one person in the world who doesn’t like coffee in the morning I stick to my morning face mask. At the moment, I am obsessed with the Dead Sea mineral mask, which you can purchase at your local Walgreens for 3 masks for $4.00. and unfortunately WordPress doesn’t support the media file I wanted to post for you guys. .

*Imagine a picture with me in a face mask. Lol.*

After I’ve gone through the first three steps it’s time to get ready for the actual day whether it’s work or school. When I’m showering, I love to get my guilty pleasure on by rocking out to my inner Justin Bieber in the shower. index

 

And lastly, but probably most important, is to always get a good dose of Vitamin D from either taking the garbage out or doing errands before work. Vitamin D is what is always going to get you through the day because it gives you energy.

So that’s my morning routine! I would love to hear all of your guys’ routines and suggestions on what to add on mine! Also would love to give a huge shout out and thanks to Maya for being the brave soul and making the first suggestion on what to do for my DIY part of the blog!

Love always,

-Ash