Category Archives: Health

Whole30 Challenge:

While I am currently not doing Crossfit on a day-to-day basis, I do attend a crossfit gym (but I do classes with an old fav trainer, Taylor, because I like that programming) but I do work out with a group of wonderful gals who for some odd reason thought June 1 they should do a Whole30 challenge.

So this blog is my day-to-day of how the challenge went for me (live blogging if you will).

All I knew of Whole30 is: it is more strict than paleo.

When the girls talked about this challenge pre-Memorial Day weekend. I thought to myself, “well now that is just crazy…I can’t do that.” So I proposed to the group (we have our own little facebook group):

Hey ladies what if we do a point system?! 20pts for eating perfect, 10 if one meal had something not on whole30, maybe 5 for drinking 8 glasses of water or 5 for working out–that way the whole day isn’t lost and we are still working toward a positive goal and outcome.

Wellll…that got shot down. But the reason being is “that’s not how Whole30 works.” It is an all or nothing type of diet. And I hate using the word diet, so let’s just stick with challenge. Because of how Whole30 works, you cannot just do a little cheat here or a little cheat there (and to be honest as I type this I am not finished with the book, but the best way is to think of this is like a 30 day cleanse–in my opinion).

Some of the girls have told me that this challenge is not to weight yourself, measure yourself or take before and after photos, but to change your relationship with food…(but let’s be real, you know I jumped on the scale to see)

My thoughts: Yes, I already know me and food have a roller coaster type of relationship {Monday-Thursday we are pretty cool, but special occasions and weekends we are on the rocks}

So this is how it has gone down, my experience with Whole30.

Monday May 30: -2 Days until Whole30

Drove back from Port Aransas after a fun binge drinking weekend filled with home made tacos, minimal veggies and lots of chips (I cannot tell you how much I love wheat thins). Talked about food half the way home with my friend. Stopped at Mc Donald’s because it had been a while since we had Mickey D’s, it was in the gas station we stopped at and well, because….FRIES.

Thoughts: Maybe I will do this challenge, it will probably only last 4 days because I can’t go a weekend without drinking-I know myself too well.

Tuesday May 31: -1 day until Whole30: Went to HEB and Whole foods and bought some items Whole30 compliant; such as veggies, fruits, grass fed beef, turkey, etc. I came home and meal prep’d. I am no stranger to this–so long as I have the time, I am pretty good at cutting fruits and veggies and roasting sweet potatoes to easily grab or have as a meal later.

Thoughts: Well here goes nothing, guess I will just see how this goes, but my heart really isn’t in this (and it isn’t like there is a ca$h prize).

Wednesday, June 1: Whole30 Day 1: Worked at home that afternoon, so got up, made my usual egg scramble (eggs, corn, bell peppers, shredded chicken) but with no cheese, little diced avocado on top with some plantain chips for crunch. Later snacked on some berries.

Thoughts: Yep, this Whole 30 thing is a walk in the park….(so long as I am home the whole month of June)

Then my sister decided to have her baby. So that evening after I worked out, I packed my lunch sack  with some items I had prep’d and drove down to Victoria to visit with my apples, avocados and ready to go snacks in tow! Passing a Buc-ee’s without stopping for gas (and a snack) wasn’t easy.

Thursday, June 2: Whole30 Day 2: Woke up, found eggs in sister’s fridge where I stayed. scrambled those up and added avocado that I brought. Sliced up an apple too. Found a dish on the counter covered with aluminum, peeked–there it was—a beautiful, homemade yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Reached for the butter knife already in the dish to cut a slice then shook my head in disapproval remembering I was “on Whole30.” Sat down and ate my eggs. Later that day I went to the hospital for some more family time. Everyone brought lunch up there to eat and Kendal her favorite–chik-fil-a. There were donuts sitting on her bed side hospital table and her fav candy-sour patch kids. I watched my ever-so-fit brother grab a chocolate eclair and scarf it in front of me. Bastard. He also put his Schlotzky’s chocolate chip cookie in my purse to taunt me, but fortunately I found it before I left the hospital.

Thoughts: My realization is how my mind works when it comes to food coming around: If it’s right there in front of me… I will eat it. {Mmmm sugar.}

Thursday, June 3: Whole 30 Day 3: Not a bad day, worked from home quite a bit that day too, which is easy for me when at home. I had some snacks and items prepped, went to the gym, came home and made dinner (really wanted a glass of wine as I started season 2 of Bloodline.

Thoughts: I consider myself a social drinker, but as of the past 6mo or so (and since I got a Costco membership) I find myself having a glass of wine with dinner in the evenings as I Netflix binge or do stuff around the house.

Friday, June 4: Whole 30 Day 4: Well, this is the day I usually cave. All week I eat fantastic, then Friday rolls around and at 5 o’clock I want happy hour!! Even when all week I said I was going to “chill” this weekend. Fortunately, my air bnb guest checked in, we caught up (she’s more like a friend now) and the bestie got back into town and we had a lot to catch up on. I worked out in the eve. Picked up a few things at Whole Foods and we stayed up until 6-yes 6am chatting it up. And turnips cut up and roasted do NOT taste like french fries…for the record.

Thoughts: Why in the F did I stay up this late?! And why didn’t I do less turnips on the cookie sheet so they’d get crispier.

Saturday, June 5: Whole 30 Day 5: Skipped work out, because I was exhausted. {How did I feel hungover when I didn’t even drink, I swear I am doomed!} Showed homes, wrote an offer, then had to eat at home, shower and go to a book launch party I was photographing as a favor for a friend. That actually wasn’t too hard, like I thought it would be. I didn’t drink, I caught up with friends, took photos. And some of the items were Whole30 friendly appetizers (steak, sweet potato, and cubed watermelon with pistachio on top) There was a dab of sauce on some of the items that probably had sugar or something in it, but I ate it anyway. So there, I cheated..I guess. That night I came home to get some more stuff done, in bed late…per usual (grr).

Thoughts: Wow I made it through a Friday AND Saturday of not drinking. *Pats self on back* But how am I still this tired and hungover feeling…getting old sucks. ha.

Sunday, June 6: Whole 30 Day 6: Today was the first day I went out to eat and was able to easily stick with Whole30! Galaxy Cafe for brunch with friends. Denver Scramble, no cheese, no bread, add avocado, sub side of fruit-Boom. Not bad! But eating potatoes without ketchup just isn’t the same. Later I played sand volley ball with some peeps (also on Whole30, so only half of them were drinking) and then showed a house, mowed my front lawn, did a little work and watched some more Bloodline. Not too shabby and my ideal perfect day.

Thoughts: Week 1 down, not terrible. You can do this, Ashley.

Monday, June 7: Whole 30 Day 7: Today started off well, made breakfast, attended my Monday AM meetings, showed a condo, ate lunch at home. Driving past places I used to stop at (or work from) is hard, but I suppose it isn’t bad to be at home working when I can control what goes into my mouth. Today’s challenge was the fact I was given a little box of Tiff’s Treats cookies from a tenant (after I photographed his unit). I passed them along to my Air Bnb Guest, told her she MUST have them and not to let me near them. I mean TIFF’S TREATS! People!! Mmmmm so good. The best chocolate chip cookies in town. She had a few but left them on the damn kitchen table for me to stare at that perfect white box. But I did it, I made it through the day, had a killer leg workout. Finished up Bloodline too (while eating cantaloupe). So good-the show, not the fruit.

Thoughts: I need to either start liking Black Coffee or find some caffeine that is Whole30 compliant because this girl is EXHAUSTED.

Tuesday, June 7: Whole 30 Day 7: Today’s challenge was BORNS in concert at Stubb. I did it though. After working from home most the day, a showing, and then an errand at Home Depot (where I really wanted to grab a little treat like I usually do-KitKat or something) I refrained. But I did come home to #GoodGollyMissMollyMaltipoo who ate a WHOLE (mini) box of Tiffs Treats!!! I was pissed. The chocolate and crumbs was evident on my couch and my rug. She jumped up on the table and ate the entire box. That little B. I think I am honestly more jealous she got to have cookies than angry or worried that she was going to be sick all night. Anyway, I mowed my backyard, showered and went to the concert…sober. I did have a few sips of vodka soda as my date offered me a drink, but I said–“I just don’t think it will be worth it, to come this far, and have a few drinks–and for what? Plus I am driving…you drink, I will have water.” And so I did.

Thoughts: Being in a hot ass crowd sober and listening to music is bearable–have I been in better predicaments? Absolutely. Is this how pregnant women feel who still go out? Coming home after a concert and eating my home made guac with celery does not equal Whataburger.

{side note…when Molly finds a treat/food she REALLY likes, she hides it and “savors” it. Just like her mama. I go into my bedroom, turn down pillows and there it was–a half eaten chocolate chip with M&Ms cookies Molly had hidden. That devil dog.}


Wednesday, June 8, Whole 30 Day 8: First off, happy birthday Megan! Not going to her party tonight, because well it is at a bar where they serve BBQ, talk about temptation city. Weighed myself today-dropped 4lbs. Had an appt. where we met at HEB Mueller and just grabbed nuts and fresh fruit for lunch to eat. Come workout time–I was drained. This was due to somewhat of a busy day and lack of protein or carbs. I mean I think I actually yawned while working out…Came home, had salmon and sweet potatoes, gave me the energy to do a little home projects and blogging.

Thoughts: I need to start napping more.

Thursday June 9, Whole 30 Day 9: Today I learned that I am not supposed to have peanuts on Whole30! Whoops! Missed that somehow (can you tell I still haven’t finished the book…) But no biggie, they are just mixed in with some of the nuts I bought in bulk at HEB, but I haven’t been eating PB and celery non stop or anything. Today was on the go-ish as well, but I learned from yesterday’s mistakes and instead of just eating fruits and veggies I had eggs in the AM and then at our 2pm meeting pulled out my shredded chicken with avocado on top (yeah people were jealous). Worked out-endurance class. Then came home, had an hour to do some laundry and prep/eat before kickball. Did the spaghetti squash and turkey w W30 approved pasta sauce thing-eh (I get so bored of leftovers). And baked sweet potatoes for later. I f’n love sweet pots if you can’t tell. The good news is I am hosting some ladies this weekend for a Whole 30 pot luck dinner/game night. Much like my workouts–I do better when other people around me are in the same boat :) Tonight (literally before I typed this entry) I mixed egg, banana and cinnamon and made “pancakes” they looked like something Molly has thrown up, but fortunately were tasty. PS have the gas on low, I think it was burning off the coconut oil and cooking it too fast…so some were burnt (shocker, Ashley can’t do anything slow or on low heat).

Thoughts: 1. I cannot believe I posted that blog to facebook yesterday instead of just my closed accountability group…now I really have to stick this shit out and try and stay positive.  2. It’s time to get creative and look on Pinterest or something, bc I am already bored with this food, how am I going to last 21 more days?!?!? 3. Mmmm sweet potatoes.

I decided to take my blog from this site (my professional blog site) to my personal blog site, you can read more on my day to day Whole30 challenge HERE. Thanks for reading!





My Weight Loss Struggles–{why is change so hard?}

Ah where to begin?

The title of this post says it all. Like most people I know–I constantly am working on changing something about myself. Is it bad that I am never happy with certain things about myself? Probably, but does it  stop me from complaining or blaming genetics–not quite. ha.

When I was at the ripe ol age of 11, I remember spending a Summer of staying up late watching Nick and Night (I loved I love Lucy) and I would stay up super late, eating: (this is so embarrassing to admit, but dammit if they weren’t delicious) flour tortillas with a little butter (ok, ok Country Crock) on them heated up in the microwave for about 10seconds. I’d sleep half my day away because I stayed up so late eating crap and topping off my last show with Donna Reed…(my night-owlism began at such a young age!)   I remember making a comment about my weight because I finally started to notice my summer “play clothes” (as my mom would call them, because I would be killed if I wore “school clothes” to play in) not fitting as well.

Photo above–me and my little brother (before I started packing on the pounds) yes, he has a mullet.

My dad said to me one time, “Ashley. You’re a Brinkman. You are always going to battle with your weight.” {There were probably a few sailor words in there, but for blog purposes, I will keep it short and clean.} Some people think it is awful when parents say things like that to their kids, but my bestie is a Registered Dietician and sees kids all day that are morbidly obese, eating double cheeseburgers from McDonalds and getting XL Cherry limeades at Sonic during happy hour. When 10mo olds are weighing in at 70lbs…that ain’t the kid’s problem…that’s the parent’s problem! I am not getting into that issue right now though.

I can blame society, Texas, my upbringings, my mom’s cooking, my genetics, my lack of sports at a young age or I can accept these things, blame no one but myself and work on them. That’s the hard part and frankly something I still haven’t come to terms with nor overcome, but I am working on it.

I have tried the following (and probably on more than one ocassion):

  • Nutrisystem ( I was in Junior high, my dad did it with me)
  • Adkins
  • South Beach Diet
  • Ripped Fuel (these caffeine pills that put me on a stretcher during Beach 2 Bay relay marathon my Sr year of HS…long story…ask me later. Aka: Jessie Spano–> what my friends called me)
  • Weightwatchers
  • Calorie Counting with iPhone apps
  • P90x (ha that lasted two days) also have Insanity and TurboFire
  • Wii with the Wii fit and Just Dance 1 and 2 games
  • I trained and ran a marathon (for weight loss purposes…and a new challenge, I guess)
  • Phen Phen type pills (I will probably die young of a heart attack)
  • HerbaLife
  • A hypnosis tape (sorta…I  only heard it one time)
  • Personal training (currently)

How is it that I can set my mind to do so many things and accomplish them, but not this? Is it because my goals are short enough term that I can accomplish them without making drastic changes in my life? I mean really, when I think about it–I always say, “I need to start going to bed earlier.” Does that happen? No. Maybe for a week. That whole “It takes 21 days to make a habit or break a habit” is total bologna too, I must say. I really do not believe you can do a routine of something for 3wks and it become something you do for the rest of your life. If you read back, my blog on not drinking for 25 days—that was over 21 days…and I still drink my fair share of cocktails (not in an alcoholic sense, but a social sense). Or when I was training for the Austin Marathon in college, that was 4mo of training, do I want to keep that up (hell no!), I still run about 3-4mi on average a few times a week and then a little more if I felt ambitious and signed up for a race (like the Cap 10k or San Antonio Half Marathon last year).

Photo above: College Roommate and I, night before our first marathon! (Austin, 2003)

And why is it that when it comes to change…especially weight loss, I know what I NEED TO DO…but can’t manage to actually do it? And is my reasoning excuses or a reality?

Do these sound familiar?:

  • I don’t have time!
  • I am not a “morning person” or “I can’t work out in the mornings”
  • I am so tired when I get home from work.
  • I cannot jog.
  • I hate the ___insert mundane machine here (for me it is the elliptical and treadmill)
  • That food taste like crap
  • I am a bad cook
  • I don’t have time to make breakfast every morning
  • I’m not much of a runner
  • My schedule doesn’t allow for me to make those changes
  • It’s not convenient enough for me
  • I hate the after taste of fish pills and supplements
  • But I love food soooo much!/Only live once (my mentality)
  • I hate putting in every calorie I ate, such a daunting task (ok maybe you don’t use the word “daunting” but you catch my drift)

Those aren’t all my excuses to why I haven’t changed, but I have certainly had several periods in life where I stop and think–Ashley, you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. How can I break my cycle? How can I still be happy all around?

I actually recently broke down and got a personal trainer. I said I would never get one because I work out enough and keep active, it’s the diet part (you know that 80% of what goes into your body factor). I need to hire someone to walk around and slap food out of my hand. Or cook and pack and my meals for me. Basically I need to be a super rich celebrity is what I am saying-personal trainer and personal chef?! Sign me up!

Anyway, my trainer and I were talking today and I said, “Call me a typical woman, Miguel but I am never happy. When I eat and I am social with my friends I am later mad because I chose the bad stuff, had too many chips or ate too much. When I cook at home and eat healthy I am bummed I was missing out on something, or it wasn’t fun.” He told me a few stories of past clients that were the same way. And I know this, but it is hard for me to make small life style changes. Why do I have enough self discipline to get up early and work out (even when hungover!) but not to say no to the chips on the table? Why do I have enough self discipline to work for myself and get things done, but not enough to say no to that damn cookie company in the mall? (I blame my dad for my sweet tooth–just kidding, I can’t blame anyone but me!)


I visualize how I want to be, or where I’d like to be (or some times at a point-physically-where I once was) but somehow can’t consistently manage to do those things needed to get there. And it isn’t like my life is out of wack. This is how it is going to be the rest of my life. Actually, this is the easy part when my metabolism is supposed to be great, I don’t have any kids to take care of and I make my own schedule. My friends who are struggling with weight right now all just had kids! What’s my excuse???

I have also often said–“I am going to have to get new friends.” When truth be told, no I just need to change what is making me unhappy. I would only really need new friends if they didn’t support the changes I wanted for myself, which again I am realizing can’t be drastic changes because it is just near impossible to change how you have always been.

Am I the only one that over-thinks and obsesses on my body image or quality of life. Why do they even go together? Why do I always want more for myself? Why can’t I just be content with who I am and how I look? Now, I know I am probably sounding super depressed right now, but I will say despite my frustrations in my battle with the scale, I am actually a very happy person. I still will get on a boat in a swim suit despite my negative self image and have a good time, because I do realize 1. Life is too short to care that much 2. I am not the only one with saddle bags at the lake/beach/pool, so suck it up!


My mind and body are continuously intrigued by fitness related articles, news, and studies. I will just continue to work on what I can and hopefully not have to get rid of any friends, fall off the social calendar and work on just being happy being me. :) That is all.