Friday Favorites

Heyyy!

Happy, happy Friday!

I have another round of Friday Favorites comin atcha!

But first…….

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I don’t really like working out my shoulders, but I do feel like I have made the most progress on them! Grow lil’ pumpkins grow!!

I finished off my workout with 25 minutes on the stairmaster. I sprinted for 30 seconds, rested for 30 and so on.

The last five minutes of my HIIT, I did 30 seconds of jumping jack, 30 seconds high knees, 10 decline pushups, 30 seconds burpees, 30 seconds jumping jacks, 30 seconds speed skaters, 10 decline pushups, 30 seconds jump squats, 30 seconds jumping jacks, 10 decline pushups, 30 seconds high knees, 10 decline pushups. No rest until I was finished.

I sat in the sauna for 10 minutes too. I love that thing!

Now, I bring you my favorite things from this week!

I just went and bought a new round of whey protein. Of course I bought more Beverly International Cookies n Cream flavor but this…..

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Dymatize Nutrition ISO-100

….is my ish!!! I bought the birthday cake flavor and it has taken my protein pancakes to another level.

 

This lululemon sports bra.

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Yeah, it may be pricey, but with the amount of time I spend at the gym, it’s worth it to me. Plus, it’s light and moves with you so there isn’t chaffing. I have it in bright pink.

 

I am on a meal plan right now that is pretty set in stone. So, when I have cravings, I turn to this amazingness:

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Extra Dessert Delights. My favorite flavors are Mint Chocolate Chip and Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake.

 

This shoe.

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It belongs to Alex and it is the very shoe that killed the giant ass spider that cornered me in my kitchen earlier this week. I may sound dramatic, but my arachnophobia is the real deal. Plus, I have never seen a creature like this one before, so I was freaked out. This shoe saved me.

 

Mustard. I put it on everything now a days because it doesn’t add any extra calories. I have gone through 3 of these in four weeks.

mustard

Also, thanks to one of my favorite IG accounts, @jazzythings, I have a new way of changing the flavor of mustard, although it’s perfect just the way it is, I need change every now and then.

I take a 1/2 cup of mustard, add 1 tsp stevia, paprika, onion powder, and a little bit of water. Holy yum!! Sounds weird but don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. Also, I enjoy cheeseburgers with peanut butter (I plan on eating a giant one after my comp). Get over it.

 

Food Network.

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I watch a lot of it because I can’t eat a whole lot right now, so why not watch people make delicious food.

Yes, that is a cheeseburger with peanut butter. You’re so drooling right now!

 

There you have it! Have a great day!!!

Ta Ta for now!!

 

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Spinning

I took a spin class this morning at my gym and I wasn’t that impressed.

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The instructor was not energetic at all and her music choices actually started to piss me off.  Most of it was from the 80’s and slow pace and Kelly Clarkson even debuted a couple times…..BLEH!! How the hell am I supposed to climb a mountain listening to sister christian?!?!  I was so close to grabbing my own headphones and putting them on during the rest of the class. I’ll be sure to skip Wednesday morning spin classes from now on. I have a friend who does the spin classes regularly so I’m going to ask him who the better instructors are for energy and upbeat music!

When I got home I made a super delicious smoothie made with mangoes, blueberries, greek yogurt, protein powder, chia seeds, almond milk and coconut milk. Blueberries and mangoes are my new favorite combo!

smoothie

Gone in minutes!

Yesterday, I worked out my back and shoulders in the AM and went back to the gym with Alex later on to workout my abs and do some cardio.

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I also incorporated the face pull mechanical drop set. I used the cable machine with the rope attachment and started at my fore head, then neck, then chest for 3 sets of 10. My rear delts are so sore today!

For my ab workout, I completed 4 sets of however many I could do of each exercise. There are some days I like to just go until failure with my ab workouts and yesterday I was feeling it!

  • Leg Raises on pull-up bar
  • Toe Touches on Pull-up bar
  • TRX Mountain Climbers on BOSU
  • TRX Knee pulls on BOSU
  • Oblique Plank: held for 30 seconds each side
  • Leg Raises on bench
  • V-ups balanced on bench with 5# weight
  • Cable Pull Down
  • Wood Choppers

Afterwards, I decided to not get on a cardio machine because it was too nice out so I ran home. Alex ran on the treadmill so I grabbed the house key and booked it. We live a little over 2 miles from our gym and I felt so good on my run! Nice weather is upon us….hopefully!! When I got home, I brought Charlee outside with me and we ran around like maniacs for a little bit.

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For dinner, Alex and I made scrumptious taco salads. In them went: chopped ice burg lettuce, low-fat cottage cheese, lean turkey meat, black beans, tomatillo salsa, low-fat shredded cheese, and pico de gallo. So satisfying!  No picture was taken because by the time I thought about it, my salad was just about gone.

 

Have a great day!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIIT ME

I woke up feeling rested today, finally!!!!!!

I went to the gym with a high intensity workout in mind but was greeted by the same trainer that has been kicking my butt all week. I’m not complaining. He asked me what I had in mind and I said HIIT. He replied with “crossfit it is!”

I have never done crossfit but I have been really intrigued by it for the past year. Today gave me a little preview and I definitely loved it! He had me do this workout:

HIIT

It took me about 15 minutes to complete and my heart rate was pumping! Short but sweet and I was once again sweating and swearing 2 minutes into it. I have a potty mouth. I should work on this….or not.

He added 25# plates to each side of the barbell which I have never done before but rocked it! This may not seem like a lot but considering I don’t really work the barbell too often I am pretty darn proud of myself. The hardest part about this workout were the box jumps. He had me jump right into those after the deadlifts and my legs felt like friggin lead.

No breaks. No breathers. Just what I was looking for in my workout today.

I went upstairs and did sprints around the track for 10 minutes. I sprinted the long stretch of the track and jogged the edges. My face looked lobster red after I was finished.

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I also completed some TRX band rows, pull-ups, push-ups and abs and did some decline push-ups. I cooled down with some stretching and foam rolling. I need to loosen up my IT Bands if I want to start running half-marathons again. Speaking of running, I am in love with my Brooks PureFlows.  They have helped a whole lot with my form and my runners knee pain. Get these ASAP!

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Next subject, cookie brownies!

I posted a picture of some cookie brownies I made last week and I got a pretty decent response to them.

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I had a huge craving for chocolate all of a sudden while watching TV. So, I got up and made myself some semi-healthy cookie brownies. I call them that because they look like cookies but have the dense, creamy middle that a brownie boasts.

I polished these bad boys off in 2 days. Alex may or may not have had a couple himself. Oops.

The reason they are semi-healthy is they don’t contain a crap ton of flour and they also hold one of my most favorite foods: the avocado.

I love them. So I cook with them and eat them all the damn time. They basically stand level with my other obsession: the sweet potato. I’m going to make these with sweet potatoes next time. Actually, I must make them now…recipe coming soon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Ripe Avocado, mashed all up
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 c flour<—I am going to use almond flour next time!
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 oz any chocolate….who I am kidding, I used 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (organic from TJ’s)!

I preheated my oven to 350 degrees. I combined the sugars, avocado, vanilla and egg until smooth. In a separate bowl, I combined cocoa powder, flour, and baking soda and then slowly mixed this into wet ingredients. I added chips in last and scooped mixture out with a small ice cream scooper onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

So yum! HAppy Friday!!

 

Mixing Up My Workouts

I went and worked out with a friend of mine today and we targeted legs and finished off with some cardio. We superset all of our exercises which kept the heart rate up, so with that, not much cardio was needed at the end of this workout. Plus, my legs are still sore from Mondays workout!

 

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We got on the stair master for 10 minutes afterwards and I was dripping sweat!

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Seriously, the last minute was the longest. minute. ever.

We recently signed up for an actual gym membership..thank goodness!! I was getting a little tired of our gym at our apartment complex. It is super tiny and has very limited options as far as machines, cardio, etc and if you went during a busier time, good luck getting your workout done in a timely manner. I love our new gym! It’s large and offers so many fun sounding group classes which I was really starting to miss in my workouts. I am excited to try some out and give my feedback. Also, the trainers are super friendly and always willing to give pointers and suggestions.

It also has a rogue fitness “jungle gym” which is basically where I spend most of my time when I am there. Super fun and interesting.

Classes that peak my interest: pilates, YOGA!, spin, cardio kickboxing, bootcamp.

I would like to incorporate 1-2 of these classes in my weekly workouts. It will mix things up and confuse my muscles which is a good thing.

I have also set up a challenge for myself this month: 50 pull ups a day with different grip variations; 25 in the AM and 25 in the PM. I would like to be able to do 25 in a row at the end of this month. Keep ya posted!

pups

Picture taken from my Instagram: @ashleynicole_fitbliss

 

Have a great rest of your Thursday!

 

Leg Workout and Brownies!

Hi friends!

I woke up this morning with a lot of energy and I am not sure why that was the case since I only got about 5 hours of sleep last night and had a super crazy night at work but I will take it! I took that energy to the gym to complete a super sweaty, killer leg workout. It went something like this:

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For my warm-up, I didn’t get on a cardio machine, I did 3 sets of 10 burpees with a wide grip pull-up and 10 man makers because those are killer and 10 just about made me want to go home! I probably should have just done 8 or 5 because I am sure by the 5th one my form was a bit off. I also did 4×12 Single Leg Medicine Ball Bridges and Good Mornings on the Smith Machine.

There have been quite a few of you have who asked me to post videos of some of my exercises so I will do my best to get links in on each post. I would do more videos of me performing them but I usually workout on my own so I need to find a better way to set up my phone to record myself. Always awkward but it is really cool to have friends and readers email, text or comment me asking me to post videos of me performing my exercises!!

Man Makers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmOIDWCvbNg

Burpee Pull-ups: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWysgOhr0vM

I cooled off with 3 sets of 10 squats on the Smith Machine with no added weight and stretching! I will feel this workout tomorrow.

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I love finding new exercises that are challenging. It keeps the gym from getting redundant which you never want and it also allows for different muscle groups to get involved. Too many times, especially when I worked out at a huge, chain fitness center, I would see people with defined traps but no other back muscles? Or deltoids for days but no biceps? I just feel like if your muscles aren’t balanced then it can create or result in injuries. That is just my opinion so focus on ALL muscle groups and you will see excellent results!

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This morning, I woke up starving so I ate 1/2 cup of overnight oats, a banana, and half a grapefruit. Delicious fuel for the gym. I also whipped up some healthy brownies because I was craving chocolate.

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My love for sweet potatoes took over again in this recipe!! In the brownies went:

1 1/4 c bananas

1/2 c cooked, smashed sweet potato ( I have also used pumpkin puree)

3/4 c p.butter (I used sunflower butter)

2 eggs

1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 c applesauce(I use the no added sweetener applesauce)

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder

2/3 c chocolate chips (I may have added more in this batch)

In a processor, add banana, sweet potato, and nut butter until smooth. Add eggs and applesauce, puree again. Then add baking soda and cocoa powder.

Mix in chocolate chips but don’t over stir. Add to an 8X8 pan and bake at 375 degree for 15-20 minutes.

I have already eaten 1/4 of the pan. Alex, please come home soon so I don’t eat the whole thing!

Laters!!!!

 

 

 

 

Meal Prepping

Heeyyy!

My workout this morning involved a lot of core work which is my favorite! I warmed up with 20 minutes on the arc trainer and ended it with some HIIT aka box jumps, jump rope and burpeeeeeees!

core work

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Here are some links to some of the exercises since a few of you have asked me to post examples!

Cable Crunches: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VSOnS1hXV0

Cable Woodchoppers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkS4R9HPXjY

Cable Leg Swings or Cable Toe Touch: I swing both legs at the same time but this is another variation!

source: muscleandfitnesshers.com

source: muscleandfitnesshers.com

Planks with knee pull: I do this while balancing on a BOSU ball.

source: fitandfablife.wordpress.com

source: fitandfablife.wordpress.com

Leg Raises with DB: I grip the actual pull up bar since my gym doesn’t have straps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI7wrB3Crsc

For some time now, I have been an advocate of meal planning. Each weekend, I put together a list of meals for the upcoming week so that I don’t have to go to the grocery store at all during the week and try to figure out lunch or dinner. It saves money, time and keeps us on track with healthy eating!

mealprepp

Typically, I do my shopping on Sundays or Mondays. I hit up Traders Joe’s and then Kroger if TJ’s didn’t have what I needed. The items you will most likely find in our cart on a weekly basis:

  • asparagus
  • fresh spinach
  • bell peppers
  • brussel sprouts
  • carrots
  • sweet onion
  • artichokes
  • spaghetti squash
  • avocado<—I eat one everyday!
  • apples
  • bananas
  • grapefruit
  • blueberries
  • lean ground turkey
  • chicken breasts
  • salmon
  • tilapia
  • multi grain bread
  • cottage cheese
  • meatless breakfast patties (TJ’s are delicious)
  • eggs
  • almond milk
  • organic vanilla yogurt (TJ’s)
  • frozen mango, strawberries, blueberries

I mix up our meals weekly to keep it interesting. Just recently, we started meal prepping our lunches and snacks. We will cook up some protein and roast vegetables and place each individualized meal in the fridge so it is easy to grab for lunch or after a workout. I am loving this now as it is a huge time saver and I feel great after eating. I also hard boiled eggs, cut up carrots and celery, made a huge batch of overnight oats, and of course keep lots of avocados. I also make my own artichoke pesto and cook up a spaghetti squash to keep in the fridge for a snack.

mealprep

Alex bought a dry erase board for our weekly meals and little notepads so we can keep track of what we are eating as well as our workouts. We can’t wait to see all our hard work come together!

 

Have a great Tuesday!

 

 

 

New Blog Title!

Good afternoon and happy Sunday!

 

As you can see, I have changed the name of my blog to better represent what I want to convey through this blog. Fitness has been a huge part of my life some time now and I want to share things I have learned and what I am still learning to this day. Some day, I will also be training others! Woo hoo! Of course, I will still post things about my life, food, travel, and all those happenings but posting workouts and talking about what I know thus far and will keep learning in the future about fitness will be the main focus!

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So, what does the name Kiss FitBliss mean? Well, for a while I was taking working out lightly and not eating correctly. That did not go hand in hand and therefore, I was not seeing the results I wanted to see. I then became cardio queen and lost a lot of weight and felt great but did not look fit in my opinion. After following some inspiring women, I started to lift weights along with cardio and ate clean and healthy foods. Fueling my body properly was KEY. I saw almost instant results and that was all the motivation I needed. I found my bliss with my workouts and food. I wasn’t obsessing over supplements, protein bars, and shakes. I was just focusing on eating right and finding workouts that worked for me. KISS…Keep It Simple Stupid. That saying cracks me up but it is so true. Find a workout that bests suits your needs and keeps you motivated. It really is that simple. For me, I love high intensity workouts, running, tabata, and off course, my favorite, lifting weights. I also enjoy yoga, spin, body pump and kickboxing. If your gym doesn’t offer those classes, find a local studio that does offer them. It may require a small fee but it’s worth it!

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Staying fit for life is my goal and as well as my husbands and it is such a joy to have him by my side. We motivate each other and keep each other on track. I hope this little blog will do the same for you as I share my journey through fitness on here!

Bye ya’ll!

xoxo