Fabulously on the Move: Learning to Love Spin

Continuing with my series “Fabulously on the Move”… I’ve got a treat for you guys today.

FOTM Coffee Cake and Cardio | No Thanks to Cake

I met Ashley way back at Fitbloggin 2012 in Maryland, and we were instant friends.  She’s so incredibly relatable, insanely motivating, and determine to achieve any goal she sets… I knew that I wanted her to be part of this series.

Ashley’s taking over NTTC today, sharing about how she fell in love with spin.

Learning to Love Spin Coffee Cake and Cardio | No Thanks to Cake

Ashley’s blog Coffee Cake and Cardio has been one that I’ve read from the beginning.  I’ve read about her wedding to Neal, followed along with her adventures with the DC Divas, and witnessed her becoming a mother to sweet Magnolia.  Her journey is one that inspires me, and her blog helps me keep up with my dear friend.

Without further ado, here’s Ashley’s story…

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Hey y’all! My name is Ashley and I blog over at Coffee Cake and Cardio! I’m really thankful that Kelly asked me to share a little of my story with y’all today. As Kelly often shares, the journey is never ending, but I thought I’d take y’all back to my fitness rock bottom today.

In 2006 I was at my highest adult weight (261 pounds) and despite having just ended my collegiate discus and hammer throwing career, I was incredibly out of shape. Weight lifting was my passion and I thrived at it, but when it came to cardio I really struggled. Aside from hoping on the elliptical, most workouts scared me. I hated running, fitness classes scared me, and my hope to find a workout I’d love was non-existent despite my desire to lose weight and get in shape.

Overweight Teenager

In the fall of 2006, my roommate invited me to attend a spin class with her. I was so incredibly nervous to take a spin class. All I could think about was the scene from Fever Pitch when the girls were taking the class. I had it in my head that I’d hate it and to be honest, I did. I struggled throughout the entire class and even made up an excuse to leave class early. That was truly my fitness rock bottom!

Fever Pitch Spin Class

That day, as I was pushed outside of my comfort zone, I realize just how out of shape I was. Although I was a college athlete and confident in the weight room, my cardiovascular health was extremely poor and I was unhealthy! I needed to change my habits and I needed to get into shape. It was scary and though I never wanted to take spin again, I knew it couldn’t get any worse!

I started taking spin classes regularly and have never looked back. What I didn’t realize that day is that I had stumbled upon a workout I’d become passionate about. A workout that I would become passionate about. A workout that I’d hate to miss. In 2006 I couldn’t have even imagined finding a workout that I’d hate to miss, but I did. I learned to love spin and how amazing the workouts were.

Exercising While on a Cruise

Spin helped me to lose 50 pounds back in 2006, to get into the best shape of my life in my 20’s, and to have a happy and healthy pregnancy this past year! One of my goals for 30 is to become a spin instructor and to help others fall in love with the workout that has helped me to reach my goals.

The hardest spin class you’ll ever take is your first one, in my opinion, but I’ve got some great tips for y’all! The key is returning for a second class. Even if you hate spin after that first class, promise me you’ll go back for a second class! Don’t let your first class be your only impression of spin! It gets better! As you learn more about spin, and as your booty gets used to the seat, you’ll figure out what works best for you. You’ll find instructors you love, songs that make you work harder, and you’ll be so motivated by your calorie burn!

I want to challenge y’all to do one thing, try a workout this next year that scares you… and then do it again! Whether it’s spin, running, yoga, or BodyPump, do what scares you! It might just be the workout that changes you life! Spin was mine!

What workout scares you? What’s keeping you from trying it out?

Want to follow Ashley and learn more about her inspiring story?  Heres’s a few ways that you can keep up with her:  Coffee Cake and Cardio Blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup

I’ve been going through a soup phase… as you’ll notice over the next few weeks.  With the weather getting cooler here in Colorado, it’s perfect time for a warm, soupy dinner!  My friend Jen posted this recipe on Facebook a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t resist trying it!

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup

It’s my very first attempt at Cauliflower Soup, and I’m officially a fan!  It’s loaded with cauliflower, red pepper, and has a warm potato base.  It reminds me of a rich, flavorful mashed potato… and I love mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup

Adapted from this recipe

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup | No Thanks to Cake

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 red pepper, cored and diced

1 potato, peeled and diced

1/2 onion, diced

2 cups cauliflower, chopped

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup skim milk

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. coriander

1/4 tsp. cumin

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and red pepper, cooking down until the pepper and onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Add potato, cauliflower, stock, milk, bay leaf, salt, and spices. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer, cooking for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potato and cauliflower are softened. Stir occasionally.

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup | No Thanks to Cake

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup | No Thanks to Cake

 

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Blend soup with an immersion blender, until smooth.  Note:  Add an additional splash of milk, if needed.

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup | No Thanks to Cake

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Serve the soup with your choice of garnish:  black pepper, Williams-Sonoma Pizza Seasoning (my fave!), or parmesan cheese.

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup | No Thanks to Cake

Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup | No Thanks to Cake

Per about 1 1/4 cup serving:

CAL 134; CARB 22g; FAT 4g; PROT 5g; FIB 4g; WW Points Plus: 4

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NTTC Holiday Gift Guide 2014

December is upon us… and if you’re anything like me, you’re working on getting your holiday gifts purchased!  Every year around this time, I like to include a few of my favorite gifts for the holiday season… especially catered for those of you who are on a healthy living journey and including a few little things that I’d love to see under my tree too!

NTTC Holiday Gift Guide 2014 | No Thanks to Cake
FOR THE KITCHEN

Around the holidays, my favorite place to load up on new gadgets is the kitchen.  Over the years, my kitchen has grown as a result of this technique.  Here are a few things I’d recommend to make sure you’re well-stocked for 2015

Paderno Spiralizer

Let me introduce you to the King of Spiralizers:  The Paderno Spiralizer.  I love this thing.

Paderno Spiralizer | No Thanks to Cake

Not all spiralizers are created equal, and this one is perfectly designed.  I first heard about it from Gina over at Skinnytaste, and quickly realized I needed it when I realized all the cool things that I could make with it.  Thanks to the lovely Inspiralized.

Stocking Stuffers

There are all sorts of fun kitchen gadgets that can slip into a stocking.  How about extra sets of measuring spoons?  I always need these!  Or a jar of the Williams-Sonoma Pizza Seasoning I’m always talking about?

FOR YOUR WRIST

Every girl needs some cute accessories to adorn her wrist.  Here’s a few multipurpose bracelets that will help keep you on track!

Fitbit Trackers

Accountability tools can help keep you on track, I know mine does…  I’ve worn the Fitbit Flex for a few years now, and I’m a huge fan.

Fitbit Flex | No Thanks to Cake

Not only does the tracker do a great job at keeping up with my steps and activity, but it looks great on my wrist.  Fitbit has a ton of options for the wristband, colors and styles that will fit your wardrobe.  Fitbit also has several new models available for the holiday season.  Pick your favorite, and get moving!

Fierce Forward Intention Bracelets

For the past year and a half, I’ve been wearing Fierce Forward bracelets, and I adore them.  I love the fact that I can slide on Bliss or Passion, and have a visual reminder of what I’m trying to accomplish in my life.

Fierce Forward Energy | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve got my eyes on the olive green Energy bracelet above for this year, as it completely matches my intention for the new year…

FOR THE GYM

I always say, if you have to go to the gym, you might as well look fabulous!  Here’s a few ideas for how you can make sure you’re looking your best while you’re sweating away…

New Workout Clothes

My two favorite spots to pick up new workout clothes are through Fabletics (Kate Hudson’s online boutique)…

Fabletics | No Thanks to Cake

And, I’m obsessed with the beautiful pieces that Athleta comes up with every season.  Gift cards to either store will assure you have cute gear to help get you through even the toughest workout!

Athleta | No Thanks to Cake

BIC Bands

These no-slip headbands are my absolute favorite.  And, you (or your elves) can save 10% on your order by using my promo code “KELLYBIC” at checkout!

BIC Bands | No Thanks to Cake

FOR YOUR BOOKSHELF

I’m a little bookish… I love books, cookbooks, and reading in general.  So, here’s a few books that are must-haves.

The Skinnytaste Cookbook

I’ve mentioned this cookbook before, but it is most certainly as MUST have!  I’ve purchased it for a few friends for Christmas… because it’s just plain awesome!

The Skinnytaste Cookbook- Light on Calories, Big on Flavor | No Thanks to Cake

It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell

This book officially releases on January 5th, but I think it’s worth adding to your list as a pre-order.  Andie Mitchell from Can You Stay for Dinner is sharing her memoirs about her life, her 130+ lb. weight loss, and how she’s working to overcome food addiction in this new book…

It Was Me All Along | No Thanks to Cake

I’ll be reviewing this book over the holidays and can’t wait to dive into this page turner…

FOR THE MAILBOX

I love the many, many options out there for subscriptions services.  There’s everything from makeup boxes to doggie boxes to fruit of the month club.  I love the idea of the gift that keeps on giving.  Here’s a few ideas that are my favorite.

PopSugar Must Have Box

I’ve received a few of these boxes this year through my affiliation with PopSugar and I adore what they do!  They combine fun gifts for the ladies in a beautiful subscription box monthly… all those things you MUST HAVE!  I highly recommend it!

PopSugar Must Have Box | No Thanks to Cake

Self Magazine Subscription

This is my favorite magazine out there these days.  It has articles on beauty, health, wellness, fitness, and even some recipes.  I always learn something when I read it… and I highly recommend it!

Self Magazine | No Thanks to Cake

What’s on your gift list this year?

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Currently: November

Happy Belated Thanksgiving, y’all!  I hope everyone had a great time with friends and family celebrating good ol’ turkey day.  I’ve wrapped up my holiday celebrations and just settled in to wrap up November with my monthly currently post… here goes nothing!

Currently November  | No Thanks to Cake

Current Netflix Binge:

I’m still watching GILMORE GIRLS.  And, I’m quickly approaching the end of the series on Netflix.

Gilmore Girls | No Thanks to Cake

I feel like there is going to be a feeling of loss when this show ends.  Like I’ll miss them in some way.  That being said, this will be the end of TV watching for me for a while… but through my back injury, this show has been so fun to re-watch!

Current Confession:

I’m writing this after just getting home from Target… on Thanksgiving night.  There’s something about having time off, and having a lazy day… that makes me a little stir crazy, and wanting to get out.

Target Black Friday | No Thanks to Cake(Source)

That’s not a pic from my evening at Target, of course… but that’s what I was expecting.  Instead, there were just a bunch of people buying stacks of DVDs, and this girl carrying a red basket with Brita Water Filters, Teal Tights, and a new Pumpkin candle.  None of which was on sale, all of which was purchased after 11pm on a Thursday night… because I could.

Current Craft:

I sent my friend Jaede a cowl-style scarf last month that I knit, and it turns out her fancy, fabulous daughter Elizabeth loved it… so, I’ve been knitting her a fuzzy, sparkly, fabulous version for her birthday.  I finally finished it on Thanksgiving day, and plan to get it in the mail today.

Scarf | No Thanks to Cake

What sassy six year old wouldn’t love this?  Now, the next question is what I’ll knit next… I think this is the year of the hat.  Last year, I did ear warmers, the year before it was scarves… I think it’s a hat year.  Stay tuned!

Current Book:

A few weeks back, I had an opportunity to attend a Barnes and Noble pre-holiday blogger event here in Denver.  In doing so, I spotted this book… one that so many friends had recommended.

Wild | No Thanks to Cake

While I could have bought the paperback in-store, I instead decided to download it to my Nook so that I could read from my iPads/tablets… I’m just getting started, but excited to read about what this lady’s journey is like.  I’m hoping for an Eat Pray Love feel… we shall see!

Current Victory

I got back on my mat yesterday for the first time since my car accident in September.  Ever since I got rear-ended, things have been a little off.  My back’s still not right (Grrrr), but I’m tired of being afraid I’m going to hurt myself more.

Yoga | No Thanks to Cake

So… today, I went back to my studio, and I did my best.  Did it hurt?  Yes… Was it supposed to be a “gentle” class?  Yes…  but the instructor was no where even close to offering a gentle practice.  I modified a lot, and spent extra time in child’s pose because that served my body well.

I’m not there yet, but dang it, I’m going to be healed.  I’m going to feel normal again… I just have to!  And, this was the first step in my getting there.  Tiny victories!!!

Current Music

Now that the holidays are here, I think this is only appropriate…


Did I mention that I’m going to her concert in December??  I’m beyond excited.  If you’re not listening to her Christmas album Wrapped in Red, you totally should be.  Amazing…

Current  Calendar Conundrum

My December looks so crazy… I have FOUR trips to take between now and the new year.  What this means is that you may see a little less of me here on the ol’ blog, unless I have layovers at the airport (which I don’t really want to have!)

airport | No Thanks to Cake

I’ll be touching base weekly, but for the month of December the best way to keep up with me will be via social media: FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

Current Fabulous Gift Idea #1

My friend Jade has the BEST taste and always points out fun items that I just NEEEEED.  Most times when she tells me about an item, I’m almost afraid to look them up… but I caved this week and checked out the No Matchy Matchy earrings.

They were featured on Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list for 2014… and if Taylor is wearing them, I might need them too!

taylor-swift_Diamond-Initial_RedCJewels1Current Fabulous Gift Idea #2

And I can’t blame Jade for this one, I found it all on my own when I was peeking at the Kate Spade sale for Black Friday…

Kate Spade Polka Dot iPad Keyboard Case | No Thanks to Cake

 

As someone who has a tablet for work, not a laptop… it’s important that you have a keyboard so that you can stay productive.  How cute would this iPad case with bluetooth keyboard be???  I think it’s adorable, and I’m pretty sure I need it too.  Really, I need all the polka dots.  Especially if they’re black and white.  Every last one.

Note:  The use of the word “need” above could easily be replaced with “want.”

Current Holiday Video Fun

I’d spotted this video late on Thanksgiving night… “All About that Baste” = Priceless

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View my previous “Currently” posts here:

Currently:  October

Currently: September

Currently: August

Currently:  July

Currently:  June

Currently: May

Currently:  April

Currently: March 

Currently: February

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AWP-DO