Healthy Living Questionnaire

Thanks so much for all of your congratulatory wishes on my news yesterday! Your excitement for us means a lot. Smile Since a few of you have asked, the home is currently vacant so we’re hoping to close on it and move in within the next few weeks. I’ll be sure to share some photos once we get a little more settled.

This past weekend we were over at our friends’ house, and another couple was there that we hadn’t met before. We were all chatting, and the couple I hadn’t met before was asking me about this little blog of mine. When I told them it was what I would consider a “healthy living/lifestyle” blog, they had several questions about my thoughts surrounding various food and fitness trends as well as what are my favorite types of workouts and foods. I’m pretty sure another one or two “healthy living surveys” have gone around the healthy living blog world before, but I decided to create my own with some of the questions I was asked during our conversation the other day. (I also added a few random questions that I’ve been asked in the past by other people.)

Do you follow or believe in any sort of special diets or food trends?

Nope! I’m an everything in moderation kinda gal. I don’t have any sort of allergies, so I just do my best to keep everything balanced and in moderation. My main focus is consuming REAL foods with minimal preservatives, but I don’t fret if they’re occasionally in the food I eat. I think if I were to restrict something or get caught up in a specific “diet trend” that I’d get too obsessed about it all. I want to treat my body well while still enjoying myself and having fun, so this is what works for me.

Are there any foods that you don’t eat?

I can’t tell you how many times I get asked, “Do you eat _________?” Because for some reason, people assume I don’t eat X/Y/Z because I’m health conscious. To be honest, I eat pretty much anything. I don’t love fast food and I rarely eat it, but there’s a time here or there that it’ll happen. Other than that, I try not to rule out certain foods. Like I said above, everything in moderation for me.


How do you feel about organic food?

Well, I just recently wrote a post about it. In a nutshell, I try to buy organic where I can, but I’m not willing to blow our budget or get too crazy about it. You can read more in detail about my feelings on it HERE.

What is your favorite dessert? 

Oh goodness, I have a hard time choosing just one! Brownies are definitely up there. I also love underbaked chocolate chip cookies, Paradise Bakery sugar cookies, and my new favorite – Nothing Bundt Lemon Cake. Seriously, it’s made me rethink my feelings about cake. If you can’t tell, I have a little bit of a sweet tooth. Winking smile


Do you think eating a healthy diet or exercise is more important in maintaining a healthy weight?

Hmmm, can I say both? If we’re talking strictly weight here, I would first say that it depends on my how much exercise you’re doing. If you’re running several miles multiple days per week, then you’d probably be able to get away with eating more of a relaxed diet while still maintaining a healthy weight. But if you’re getting in a low to moderate amount of exercise per week, then I’d say a healthy diet is more important. When it comes down to it, I’d say diet outweighs exercise though. I would like to say a healthy balance of both diet and exercise are super important though.

What does a typical day of food look like for you?

This totally varies, but I’ll try to give an example of a fairly average day. Breakfast is typically oatmeal with fruit and nut butter; I usually have a small mid morning snack that is a handful of almonds, a yogurt, protein bar, or whatever I am feeling; lunch is either leftovers, a sandwich, or a salad; I almost always have to eat something mid afternoon to tide me over until dinner – it’s typically peanut butter toast or a bowl of cereal; dinner is whatever I decide to make – usually some sort of protein, carb, and vegetable; and dessert is pretty much always a must for me – mug cake, leftover dessert, or some chocolate.


What kind of workouts do you do?

It really just depends on what I’m feeling. I go in phases with various workouts so I can keep my body guessing and so I don’t get bored. I typically will rotate among running, strength workouts, and group fitness classes. Sometimes I run more for several months and then I barely run for awhile, or I’ll do lots of group fitness classes while other times I do more at-home workouts. I always try to have a good balance of cardio and strength training involved in whatever “phase” I’m going through though.

Do you ever do any races?

I just did my first half marathon in March! It was quite the experience and I’m so glad I did it, but the longer distances definitely won’t become a regular “thing” for me. I’ll occasionally sign up for “fun runs” or 5k’s with friends and/or family, but I’m far from a regular racer.


Are you a personal trainer?

I did get my personal training certification from NASM back in 2011, but I am technically no longer considered a personal trainer since I chose not to do any continuing education credits. (I suppose I need to change my disclaimer, eh?) I still provide some workouts on my blog since I feel like I have enough education and experience to safely create a workout, but I no longer create workouts for specific clients.

Do you workout at home or at a gym?

It just kind of depends on what season of life I am in at the time. I did a lot of at-home workouts the first several months of Hunter’s life because it was more convenient and a gym wasn’t really a priority to me at the time. Once Hunter got a little older, I was at the gym several times a week. It was a nice break to get out of the house, and it gave Hunter exposure to other people in a new environment. I loved the group fitness atmosphere and was a regular attender. Since we’ve been in Arizona the last few weeks, I’ve been doing all of my workouts outdoors or in the comfort of our bedroom at my in-laws’ house. I plan to get a gym membership when we move, but I wanted to wait to see where we’d be before I signed up.

What are some pieces of at-home gym equipment you’d recommend?

I would suggest a medium set of dumbbells (5-10 pounds) and a heavy set of dumbbells (10-20 pounds), a stability ball, and some resistance bands. Other convenient equipment would be a yoga mat, kettlebell, or a piece of cardio equipment like a treadmill or spin bike.

What’s your favorite kind of group fitness class?

I love a lot of them, but my favorite is Les Mills Body Pump or other strength training classes that are similar to Body Pump. I also enjoy bootcamp style classes and spin/cycle classes!


Hopefully that answers some of your questions!

Have a fantastic Tuesday!

Do you have any other questions for me regarding healthy living?

Your turn! Answer a few of the above questions!

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  1. Amanda N says

    I’m with you on the diet – everything in moderation, no restrictions, and just try to eat all around healthy with dessert thrown in.

    Exercise is majorly running, although I love yoga and zumba when I can do it. I am terrible about strength training. I don’t go to a gym and can’t stand the treadmill. I am big into racing, its fun and exciting and keeps me motivated. This year I’m trying out all new distances but I think I like the shorter ones better.

    For desserts, I love ice cream especially with hot fudge! But brownies and cakes are a close second, and of course I never turn down a chocolate chip cookie!

  2. says

    I love reading these surveys! I have the exact same attitude towards food – unless you have an actual allergy/intolerance to a certain food, I don’t think you should cut it out of your diet. I think a balanced, wholefoods approach is the most sustainable and liveable choice. I also love Bodypump! I tried it for the fist time last year and I’ve been in love ever since! I’d like to start running more seriously, but I don’t know where to start!

  3. says

    I am still so happy about the house news 😀 cannot wait to see pics 😀 YAY and great q & a’s!!!!! love learning more about you 😀 I highly suggest people buying a KB for at home workouts! i don’t own one myself, but i am always wanting one. one day when i have enough money 😉 those things can be expensive haha

  4. Katie says

    As I read this I kept thinking to myself “Amen Ashley” haha… 110% agree with the balance & moderation. No restriction, but I would probably have a melt down if I couldn’t have ice cream or chocolate haha Group fitness is my favorite way to get in an awesome workout. I really enjoy bodypump as well! (however my current gym doesn’t offer it:() I also LOVE TRX, sore it places I didn’t even know existed especially my back, try it you haven’t! I really love racing.. I used to race 2x a month during the warmer seasons but now with Drake, races are a “treat”!

    • Ashley says

      I want to try TRX classes! I’ve heard great things about it! Yes, races are a lot more challenging with a baby (or should I say toddler? eek!).

  5. says

    You’re so toned! Did you find training for the half had any affect on your breastfeeding? I’m planning on a half and full this fall, so I am kind of worried about my supply because I plan on still bf’ing at that time. I don’t diet, I just watch it and eat everything in moderation as well. Carbs are my nemesis though!

    • Ashley says

      Thanks! :) The running itself didn’t impact BFing, but if I didn’t drink enough water on my long run days, I did notice my supply suffered for a day or two. I just made sure to eat pleeenty of calories and drank a ton of water.

  6. says

    Dessert every day…:) It’s a must. It doesn’t have to be super indulgent but a good mug cake always ends the day on a high note! I work out at home and at the gym but I really do love group classes. The only thing I don’t and won’t eat is dairy because it causes my skin to break out and my tummy isn’t the biggest fan either! :) Great questionnaire!

    • Ashley says

      Interesting about dairy that it causes you to breakout! Since my hormones are regulating now that I’m weaning Hunter, I’ve noticed my acne has flared up again. Trying to figure out ways to calm it down other than a dermatologist…

  7. says

    I’m totally with you on the diet thing and am an everything in moderation kind of girl too. And, I don’t workout at a gym. I have a lot of workout DVDs I do at home; although, I do go to a Zumba studio to do Zumba every once in a while.

  8. says

    I really need to try body pump. Our gym offers it and I haven’t taken it yet. I’ve done similar classes though. I really like spinning classes.

  9. says

    Love the survey!!

    I am all about dessert, organic when I can, no dieting, and teaching Les Mills fitness classes and Zumba. We are so similar! 😉 Now you just need to get certified as a instructor and we’ll be two peas in a pod! haha

    • Ashley says

      Haha, I DO need to do that! 😉 We basically are two peas in a pod, wouldn’t ya say? Hence the reason I love you so much!

  10. Stacey says

    In my opinion diet matters first – If you aren’t eating well you’ll never be able to get through the types of workouts you need to do in order to lose the weight you want. You might be able to make it work for a bit, but in my experience I’m always slow and sluggish working out the days after I eat a bunch of junk (yesterday after Easter). If I did this everyday I’d never get that plow off 😉

    Ooo dessert – favorite? Cheesecake; can’t say no. However cupcakes are a very close second and anything full of chocolate won’t turn me away either :)

  11. says

    Adore your answers to these, lady! This is definitely what I consider to be a -truly- healthy approach to healthy living. It breaks my heart to see people getting too caught up and obsessive with diet and exercise… I san ,sure we deed to pay attention to those things, but not at the expense of our happiness and ability to appreciate other things. And having to say no to dessert? Not worth it. No way.

  12. Ashley M says

    This was SO fun to read, and really helped me get to know you a bit better! You are amazing girl, a true inspiration of balance and health! You are loved!

    • Ashley says

      It sure was! I did a lot of long distance running a few years back, but never did an actual long distance race. :)

  13. says

    It is very refreshing to hear a healthy living blogger say they don’t really put any diet restrictions on themselves. So many out there espouse a certain diet, and it often comes across a little preachy to me. You’re right-everything in moderation!

  14. says

    I don’t eat red meat or much dairy, but that’s because I don’t like it. I avoid fast food like the plague. I have a good variety of in my workout. I strength train 2x per week, run/walk 3x, swim 2x and spin class 1-2x. I try to mix it up too. Living in Arizona, the weather is just too nice not to incorporate outdoor workouts. I read somewhere that diet is 80% of health and exercise is 20%. I’ve stuck to that rule ever since. I definitely feel a difference in how I feel and perform when I eat well.

  15. says

    I want to start doing more gym workouts, just because home is boring haha. Tyler and I went to the gym last night and it was really awesome. While we still have live-in babysitters, I want to do that more, just to get out of the house without Nia!! (especially since it’s after she’s already in bed, so it’s easy enough for Tyler’s sis and her bf to be there for her!)

  16. says

    I love participating in races and I hope to run a marathon this year. It just depends on my hip flexor that I injured. We will have to wait and see! I love baking for others mostly and creating my own froyo is a hit!

  17. Ashley says

    I worked at a corporate gym for about a year, and then I trained a couple clients out of my home for several months. I talk a little bit more about my personal training experience in this post: Since I wasn’t really making money from personal training at the time I needed to get my CEU’s, I didn’t find it to be worth it to put money into getting CEU’s. I realized personal training wasn’t really something I wanted to do long term. Hope that answers your questions! :)

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