Wellness Blog

Hi, I’m Ashley! A wife, mother of 5 humans and 2 canines, entrepreneur in the fitness world, and a full time employee! I recently added a bodybuilder to that already doing too much list of things!! I am committed to helping women (and a few men) find their way through the journey of health and happiness.

  • How To Create Calorie Deficits for Weight Loss | How to Use MyFitness Pal
    Weight loss seems like a magic trick to accomplish some days. But I promise, it’s much easier than that! In order to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. Pretty simple, right? There are a a couple ways to create a calorie deficit. You can create that deficit in 2 ways: You can eat less calories per day than normal to create the deficit. Or you can move more than normal to create that deficit. You can do both if you want to be fancy! ✨Creating a Calorie Deficit with Nutrition✨ Eating 200-300 less calories per day over a period of time can help create the deficit you may need. This can be done easily by swapping that sugar filled soda for water instead. Maybe you can swap out that cheeseburger for lettuce burger wrap. Small changes can lead to huge results! ✨Creating a Calorie Deficit with Exercise✨ If you choose to move more, that can also create the calorie deficit. The more you move, the more calories your body burns. If you haven’t been very active for awhile, adding in a 30 minute workout will create that deficit. Increase the intensity (put in more effort during that 30 minute workout)and it will burn even more! The issue with weight loss occurs when people decide to move more, but also eat more. It defeats the purpose. Yes, you may feel a bit hungrier because you were more active. That’s actually a great sign. But you want to choose foods that are nutrient dense when you do decide to eat, and be mindful not to overeat so that you don’t cancel out the calories burned. Thus, no longer being in a calorie deficit. ✨How To REALLY Use MyFitnessPal to Track Calories✨ If you have 0 calories remaining, that means there was no deficit for the day. The amount of food you consumed, and the amount of movement/exercising you did were exactly the same for the day. If you have (-) calories remaining, this means you overate for the day or didn’t move enough for the day. You want to avoid this if you are trying to lose weight. If you have calories remaining, you are at a deficit! This is what you want if you are trying to lose weight or body fat (yes, there is a difference) And FYI: just because MyFitnessPal tells you that you have calories remaining, doesn’t mean you need to eat that many more calories. If you consume those calories remaining… you are no longer in a deficit because the app is calculating the calories in and calories out. Also, this is not my total consumed calories for the day. I’ll be consuming more! And I’ll be moving more too! 😜 The more you know, the easier this journey can be and I want to help make this easy for you! So tell me…Would you prefer to move more or eat less to create your deficit? What other questions do you have that I didn’t answer? I’m happy to help! Someone else may have the very same question!
  • March Madness with Pure and Simple Fitness
    This month has been full of adventure for Pure and Simple Fitness. From Chair Yoga with seniors to mindful movement with Cincinnati Public Schools, to twisting and back bends with tacos. We had a pretty full schedule and I can’t wait to share some of the fun we had with you. Chair Yoga at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Pure and Simple Fitness had the pleasure of meeting some pretty amazing ladies at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church and instructing a chair yoga class. We discussed the importance of stretching and moving our bodies so that we can remain mobile and independent. Stretching allows us to continue to do things like reach overhead to get items out of a cabinet and bend over and tie our shoes. Look at these lovely ladies below! Yoga with the students and staff at The Promise Center-An Alternative School of Cincinnati Public School District I was able to host yoga with all the girls from 4th-12th grade at The Promise Center, a Cincinnati Public alternative school, with my continued efforts with the Youth Wellness Initiative. And after that I was able to host a yoga class with the STAFF of those same students during their staff meeting for team building and stress relief. 🙌🏾 Some of our youth are holding on to a ton of stress, worry, anger, and doubt. Some more than adults because of whatever they may be going through at home, on social media, with their peers, etc. And the teachers and staff are catching the brunt of that. I’m grateful to be able to provide a space and time to escape those things, even if it’s for a short period. Twists, Turns, and Tacos! We had an amazing time discussing Trapeze Yoga and the benefits that it offers. Many times we can perform stretches that are typically harder because we have the support of the hammock. Majority of our ladies were newbies and they were able to get into an inversion on their first lesson. And after all the fun and flips, we enjoyed delicious tacos catered by Shango’s Urban Taqueria. This is a local black owned business that creates tacos with a cultural twist. If you haven’t tried them yet, do yourself a favor and run there! Summer Shred and No Nonsense Bootcamp Summer Shred and the No Nonsense Bootcamp started in March and boy are we having a ball!! This is our online and in person 6 week program, respectively. The goal: summer body ready! 🙌🏾 This is our first round and it has been amazing thus far. With the 5:30am virtual crew waking up early and getting our workouts in and out the way with a mix of body weight workouts, weight training, and cardio based exercises. The ladies have been feeling it and they make sure to let me know. 🤭 Our in person bootcamp class has been a beautiful collaboration of women cheering each other on and working hard! The camaraderie that has been created amongst these ladies is truly admirable and creates a community that leads to confidence and consistency. Although they make faces at me because they borderline hate the workouts and the pain associated with it 🤣🤣🤣 they love the results that will definitely show by summer. So What’s Next?? March has been such an amazing month and none of this would be possible without your continued support and referrals! We will have the 2nd round of the Summer Shred (virtual morning crew) and No Nonsense Bootcamp (in-person evening crew) starting April 17. They both come with the Pure and Simple Detox Ebook and you can participate in the Tuesday yoga classes at no additional cost to you! Summer is around the corner!! Which one are you joining? 6 Week Summer Shred (am/virtual) No Nonsense Bootcamp Class (pm/in person) I will also be setting up a table at the Bootcamp Cincinnati Popup with my mentor and old trainer Denise Bryers. I hope that you come by and see me! I will be having some amazing giveaways, so come by the table to say hi and enter the raffle! 🎉 And lastly, registration is open for the 4th Annual Pure and Simple Fitness Walk-A-Thon and it’s absolutely free! Join us as we raise awareness around childhood obesity and fight against it together! Sign Up Here for FREE 🎉 Can’t make it to the event?? You can still help our youth by making a donation to the Youth Wellness Initiative! Make a Difference Here! 🎉 I appreciate you all for rocking with us and can’t wait to see what April has to offer!! With love, Coach Ash
  • Youth Wellness Initiative
    I’m so excited to announce this new program that Pure and Simple Fitness has created! Pure and Simple Fitness has been funded by Hamilton County to help with the execution of a new program designed to bring fun fitness, mindful movement, and nutrition guidance and meals to the youth within our community. I’d like to introduce to you the Youth Wellness Initiative. 🎉 Did you know that childhood obesity is on the rise? And African American youth are at higher numbers than their White or Asian counterparts. According to CDC, 24.8% of Black youth are obese, with only 9% of Asians being obese. Obesity can lead to other health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. All of which is preventable (and reversible)! We have to do something about these numbers and the Youth Wellness Initiative is striving to do just that! You can read more about effects of childhood obesity here. Since launching this initiative, we have been able to provide several youth groups within the Cincinnati area with fitness equipment to have and use at their leisure. We have also been able to provide fun fitness and mindful movement sessions with different youth groups to help keep them active and mobile and practice relaxation and recovery. What We’ve Been Up to So Far During the basketball season, I was fortunate enough to work with the Girl’s Princeton High School Basketball team. I led the young ladies with recovery yoga sessions throughout the basketball season as a way to rest, relax, and recover from those demanding basketball games. At the end of the basketball season, I was able to gift each player with their own yoga mats to take their recovery yoga practice home! I also had the lovely opportunity to work with the Winton Hills Cincinnati Recreation Commission. Here, I was able to work with the younger youth group and the older youth group separately. The younger group loved choosing yoga poses from a deck of cards full of yoga poses. Whichever number they landed on, we would recreate the pose ourselves. They absolutely loved the Bow Pose. Check them out below! Our older youth enjoyed the same activity. I went around the room giving each youth a chance to choose a number from the deck of cards and the corresponding pose with that number is what we would recreate. They moaned and groaned at the start, but eventually became actively engaged until the end! Their favorite pose was the Shoulder Stand and the Bridge. We have also had the opportunity to work with Cincinnati Public Schools! I provided a fun obstacle course for grades 4th-12th grade. The younger kids are always more receptive to seeing me with either a mat or fitness gear. The 4-6th graders came right into the gym, gave me the weird eyes but had a blast with the obstacle course. Some of the students going through the course several times! The older kids were apprehensive, but engaged as well and went through the course a few times too! It was a lot of laughter, high energy, and focus on fitness! I’m so incredibly thrilled for what this program will do for the well-being of our community. We have some more fun-filled events coming up and I plan to keep you all updated! If you know of any youth groups that could benefit from this program please feel free to reach out via email at [email protected] Please add “Youth Wellness Initiative” in the subject line so the email doesn’t get lost. 🙏🏾 Thank you so much, and please stay tuned as Pure and Simple Fitness continues to make self-care and wellness, accessible and affordable within our community! Stay tuned! 💖 🌟Be Intentional Coach Ash
  • Bad Carbs vs Good Carbs
    Carbs have a bad reputation. So much so that people will try to eliminate carbs out of their diet all together! But before you go on a No Carb Ever diet, let’s learn a little more about them. All Carbs Are Not Bad 💥 Carbohydrates, also known as carbs, play a critical role in our daily bodily functions. Carbs consist of sugars, starches, and fiber. This nutrient category is the body’s main fuel source and should be consumed for proper bodily functions. The word carbohydrate comes from the chemical makeup of the nutrient food group. The chemical makeup includes carbon, water and oxygen, hence “carbo” meaning carbon and “hydrate” meaning water (hydrogen and oxygen). Carbs are made of two groups. Complex Carbohydrates and Simple Carbohydrates. To help you remember, think of Complex Carbs as the carbs that are harder to eat for most (not sweet). These are the carbs that comprise of healthy nutrients and fiber. Think veggies, beans, and whole grains. Simple carbohydrates are the carbs that are easy to eat for most (sweet). These carbs are made up of sugars and processed ingredients. Common Misconception-Natural sweeteners are more nutritious than artificial sugars. The body doesn’t care. Sugar is sugar. You may benefit from consuming fruit as oppose to a Snickers bar because there are other nutrients and antioxidants in the fruit. This is why some diabetics are encouraged to eat fruits with less sugar in it. Fiber and Starches 🌾 Starches are plant-based carbs that are also known as Complex Carbohydrates. Examples would be beans, peas, pasta, potatoes, rice and other grain products. Fiber is another Complex Carbohydrate. Fiber comes in various types and is responsible for helping with bowel regularity. In most cases you can find fiber in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and lentils. A diet rich in fiber can also help lower the risk of obesity, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. Both fiber and starches provide a sense of feeling satiated with much less caloric intake when compared to simple carbohydrates or sugar. Sugars 🍫 Sugars are broken down into many forms. “Mono-” meaning one, “di-” meaning two, “oligo-” meaning few, and “poly-“many and “saccharide-” means sugar. Some sugars are natural. Natural sugars would be the sugars found in fruits, vegetables, and honey. These are not processed or added. They occur naturally. These natural occurring sugars are called fructose. Fructose is considered a monosaccharide or one unit sugar. Glucose is another monosaccharide and is the sugar that is used for energy in the body’s cells. It is considered blood sugar and sometime blood glucose, because it circulates through the blood. Galactose is another monosaccharide that is structurally the same as glucose but doesn’t taste as sweet. When two monosaccharide units of link together, it is referred to as disaccharides. Examples would be: And not to get too complex with info, oligosaccharides contain 3-10 units of sugar. So in a nutshell, the body needs carbs. Carbs are the body’s main source for energy. Carbs fuel the body to do everything from jogging, workouts with Pure and Simple Fitness (shameless plug), digestion and optimal thinking. This is not typically a food group you want to avoid. It is however, important to consume the carbs that contain less added sugars, as well as consist of both fiber and starches. This will keep you full with less caloric intake and bowel regularity! Keep it simple! If you are looking to get a jump start to your summer body, grab The Pure and Simple Detox Plan/E-Book Here!! Only $5 for the month of March in honor of National Nutrition Month🎉🎉
  • Twist, Turns, and TACOS??
    Join us at the Lion’s Pride Wellness Center for an exciting in-person event! Get ready to experience the exhilarating world of Trapeze Yoga. This introductory session is perfect for beginners who want to learn the basics of this unique and fun practice. Register Here! Swing, twist, and turn your way to a stronger body and a calmer mind. Our expert instructor will guide you through a series of poses and movements, helping you build strength, flexibility, and balance. And don’t forget, we’ll also have delicious tacos to enjoy after the session. So come on over and discover the joy of Trapeze Yoga with us! This event will be intimate so that the instructor can properly manage those who are new to Trapeze Yoga so make sure you register quickly! Only 6 spots available. Secure your spot today! Register Here! Our tacos will be catered by a Cincinnati Based business Shango’s Urban Taquiera! Where they combine your usual traditional taco with a twist of added cultural roots from Afro Brazilians to Jamaica in several taco options! You don’t want to miss this one! Secure your spot today! Register Here! See you soon!! 💖💖
  • How Can I Lose Fat in My Stomach ONLY?
    🗣YOU CAN NOT SPOT REDUCE FAT! This means that you can’t specifically target an area to lose fat in. The body will lose fat in any area it chooses to and genetics plays a role in that. You can however, target ares of the body to be more toned and shapely by building muscle in that specific area. For example, many women come to me saying they want a bigger butt. Well… genetics plays a role in that as well but we can grow the glutes by building the muscles and targeting that area frequently. Others come to me saying they want to lose their boobs. Another genetic thing, but we can target that area by working the chest muscles giving the boobs a lift by toning and strengthening that area. ALSO!!! The more muscle your body has, the more effective your body becomes at burning body fat which will eventually come off in those areas you want. So technically….strength training is a win win. What I suggest to all my clients is a holistic approach to this wellness journey. The following will help! 1. Moving more with cardiovascular activity and strength training will help you to burn fat and tone muscle simultaneously. 2. Get your mindset right and believe you are more than capable to make the changes you want. 3. Make sure your nutrition is 80-90% on point. It is ok to enjoy some of your favorites, but it shouldn’t be majority of your nutrition. 4. Do this consistently for 6 months and report back to me! I’d love to hear your successes. Remember, we can not compare our chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 10. Take your time, have grace on yourself, decide that this is important to you and do the work! With love 💖 ~Coach Ash #sharingiscaring #mondaymotivation #coaching #Bodyfat #bodypositive #keepgoing #bigbutt #boobs #knowledgeispower Pure and Simple Fitness