inspired reader

I have another lovely guest post for you today.  But first, a few tidbits from my day.

I made an oat mix of rolled oats + oat bran, which is completely amazing.  I have made this a few times in the past and the texture is just heavenly.  It’s thick and creamy and delicious. 

I’ll give you the details on ratios and how I cooked it soon!

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Must reads.  I’ll definitely be talking about my post from yesterday again soon.  Thank you all for the amazing feeback.  I have SO much to say!  I responded to almost all of your comments.  I tried to install a comment reply notification, but I’m not sure if it’s working.  Check back though!

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I got a lovely new mug from my bro-in-law and sis-in-law.  LOVE it.

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Topped with Love Grown Foods granola of course!  Also with homemade pnut butter + crofters jelly.

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We got some good news today.

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Chris’s health is back in check!!!  And we couldn’t be happier!!  We were waiting for some pretty intense test results still and just got good word from the doc that everything was negative.  We can BREATHE again. 

tears + hugs + phone calls to families + tweets + emails

happiness.  Thank you all again for your support.  You have NO idea how much it helped.


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We went out to dinner to celebrate :)

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With the craziness that was last week, I had numerous friends offer to write guest posts, which was amazingly generous and helpful.  I also got an email from a newbie blogger wondering if she could help out and write a post as well.  I couldn’t be more excited about this post from Nicole at Yuppie Yogini.  She wanted to share a piece of her story, on how blogs have changed her life.  Nicole’s story is an inspiration. 

Hi! I’m Nicole from Yuppie Yogini.  Although I don't know Ashley personally, I've followed her blog for many months and feel like I've known her forever. After reading about Chris’s health scare, naturally I was concerned and in the spirit of wanting to help, I thought maybe I could provide a little stress relief by offering to do a guest post, and hopefully in the process, boost morale by letting her know that she has had a positive influence on me.


I know it may sound cliché to say, but reading blogs has truly changed my life.  Blogs came into my life at a crucial time, and they have honestly helped me make lifestyle changes that I’m not sure I would have otherwise made.  Reading these blogs have encouraged me to look within, challenge  existing thought patterns within my psyche, and have helped blossom a journey of personal growth and excitement.  This path has also lead me to launch my own blog, which has furthered my excitement as I delve deeper into this wonderful blogger community.  But while I’m excited about my blog, it’s also  quite important to me that I recognize existing bloggers, like Ashley, whose struggles and successes have helped me along my own path.


It’s amazing how long the human body can keep on ‘keepin’ on’ despite the burdens we place on it. For years I was a member of the ‘Dieting Girl Club’. That’s the one where you have to drink diet soda, exercise only to burn calories, and base your self-worth on the size of your thighs. Oh yeah, I almost forgot that you can’t eat anything with fat, but you must eat food in packages that contain 100 calories.

You get the picture.  It was an endless loop of misguided thinking that lead me in circles.

It’s not like I was getting sick or anything, and I thought my crazy fast running times were evidence that I was a well-oiled machine. However, that was not the case. I was running way too much and not eating enough to sustain my intense, daily workouts. I got into that cycle of feeling guilty for taking days off and at one point, was working out twice a day. This was obviously an equation for disaster and it came in the Fall of 2008. You can read all the sordid details on my blog, but basically, I ended up with severe high hamstring tendonitis.


If you’ve ever had tendonitis you know that there is only one treatment: rest and physical therapy. It took me a while to understand that “rest” ? reducing mileage from 60 miles/week down to 30. Once I was able to grasp the true definition of “rest”, the slow healing process began.

For someone whose life revolved around working out and being fit, I didn’t know what to do with myself. We’re talking major identity crisis. I was able to do other forms of exercise besides running, but nothing was the same. I really started feeling bad about myself and needed some sort of encouragement to see that there is another way of life out there.

Enter healthy living blogs.

I had slowly been improving my diet and exercise habits, but reading blogs by women struggling with my same issues was motivating. Watching bloggers turn their own lives around by making changes, day by day, gave me hope that I could do the same.

I began modeling my life after bloggers. I ate oatmeal, increased my veggies, bought organic food, and learned that it was OK to listen to my body. Because of Ashley, I will only eat organic strawberries and even bought my first pair of Vibram FiveFingers after reading about her decision to try barefoot running!


I’m writing in the past tense, but some of these issues are still very much present. This is why I continue to read blogs like Edible Perspective and now use my own blog to keep myself on track. I’m thankful to women like Ashley who’ve opened up their lives and want it to be known that the positive changes you’re making for yourself reach further than you may realize!

Congrats + good luck on your new journey, Nicole!

Night all :)  Nothin’ but smiles tonight.

<3 Ashley