Hello there! I'm back to post my workouts this week. I had a pretty unplugged weekend, and it was really nice. The girls and I spent some time with family and I got a decent amount of schoolwork done. Saturday we went to my school for this agricultural fair, it was really cute! The girls were still a little young for it, but we got to see cows, chickens, sheep, etc. The university also has their own homemade ice cream facility, where they have no-sugar added vanilla. It's pretty much everything I've ever wanted in an ice cream. I wish it was a more common thing - most desserts are too sweet for me! The girls tried it and didn't really love it. Whose kids are they?? IMG_4143 ....At least they are cute in their little rain jackets! In other news, I twisted my ankle during a workout. I didn't even realize it was a problem until afterward when the side of it turned blue and I had some serious ligament pain. I've been icing/compressing/elevating and it's slowly starting to feel better. I already have some issues with my left ankle because I broke it 7 years ago, now my right is the problem. I ordered one of those copper compression sleeves to see if it will help. In the meantime, I'm going to avoid any leg/high impact workouts for at least the next week. It's really hard with this type of soft-tissue injury - on one hand, I'd like to get back to normal workouts ASAP... on the other, I don't want to make it worse and be out of commission for even longer. I'm just going to take this opportunity to focus on upper body strength and dial in my diet. Working out is a lifestyle thing for me and I'd rather not injure myself long-term!

lunges I feel like lunges will not be happening for a while :-/

On a happier note - I was able to get my hair done this week! Seriously, I know other moms understand how much of a treat it is to have time to take care of yourself. My hairdresser was really sweet and curled my hair. I think she knows that doesn't happen very often! LOL IMG_4123 Now onto the workouts! IMG_3993 Monday: 4/25 The "Bear Complex" but 7 rounds with 5 reps per round. (1 rep = hang clean, front squat, push press, back squat, push press) Weights posted below. 1: 45#, 2: 55#, 3: 65#, 4. 65#, 5. 65#, 6. 55#, 7. 55# triceps targeted circuit x 3 5 ring dips (with band) 10 skull crushers (20#) 10 OH triceps extension 10 triceps pull down Tuesday: 4/26 max pull ups x 3 max chin ups x 3 max push ups in one minute: I did 35! Tabata of each exercise: burpees jump rope KB swings (35#) jump squat forward and back Wednesday: 4/27 deadlifts - worked up to 7 x 5 at 165# Thursday: 4/28 repeated a workout from 12/29. 21-15-9 box jumps push ups old time: 5:35  new time: 3:34 (2 whole minutes improvement!!!!!) Complete each exercise for time, all with 65#: 30 snatches 30 clean and jerks 30 thrusters old time: 12:05  new time: 11:22 This is such a tough workout! It is absolutely killer on grip strength. You have to complete 30 of each before you can move on to the next 30, which I think makes it much harder than breaking it up however you want. I'm so proud of my time improvement in 4 months! Journaling my workouts has helped my mental game SO much. Now I have physical evidence that I'm improving! This is also where I twisted my ankle coming down from box jumps :-/ Friday: 4/29 off - ankle issues Saturday: 4/30 3 rounds of: 25 push ups 10 chest rows on rings 10 floor press (65#) 5 assisted ring dips 10 OH triceps ext (10#) 10 skull crushers (20#) 10 dips on box Sunday: 5/1 off Monday: 5/2 back workout: 3 x 3 pull ups (banded) 3 x 4 chin-ups (banded) 3 x 3 neutral grip pull ups (banded) 3 x 10 ring rows 3 x 10 underhand barbell rows (65#) 3 x 10 one armed bent over rows (20#) 3 x 5 one armed bent over rows (35#) 3 x 12 long bar rows (35# on bar) 5 x max dead hangs on pull up bar That's it for today! Does anyone have a good workout to try this week? Do anything fun this weekend? Any advice for recovering from injured ankles? 

This post contains affiliate links - thank you for your support! One of the biggest reasons that I started a blog is because I've always loved reading them. There are several that I've been following for 7+ years. Whether it's just a glimpse into someone else's day, or a serious, well-researched opinion piece - it's free information that is up to date and right at our fingertips. I don't know about you, but I don't have a whole lot of time for reading lengthy novels or nonfiction books lately. So, I just wanted to share some of my favorite posts from the week with you! whatimreadinglatel By the way - if you like to read blogs and don't have a feedly, I highly recommend getting one! It keeps everything organized, so you don't have to have 1000 tabs open or annoying bookmarks. 1.Proteinaholic Review from Raw Food SOS Denise Minger wrote the book Death by Food Pyramid, which is an exposé on the politics and special interests groups that influence the US dietary guidelines.  In this (super lengthy) blog post she breaks down the good and the bad of the book, Proteinaholic, by Dr. Garth Davis. This book promotes a plant-based, low protein diet. Denise's rebuttal is well organized and fair. What I thought was an especially interesting point, was the comparison of the human diet to that orangutans and gorillas. Dr. Davis argues that because they are strong and eat only vegetation, humans can and should do the same thing. Denise then discusses how humans have entirely different guts, dominated by the small intestine rather than the colon, which are not designed to ferment 40+ pounds of plants per day like these herbivorous primates. If you'd like to read more about this - definitely check it out! 2. The Problem with Undereating I pretty much always like what anyone at Girls Gone Strong has to say. In this post, they discuss really low calorie diets (think 1200/day) and what you should do instead for weight loss. 3.  10 Common Primal Mistakes You Might Be Making Everyone who starts a new diet or lifestyle usually has a time where they go overboard. I know it was definitely that way for me when I started eating primal/paleo. Now, I just follow my instincts about what I think is healthy and try not to stress as much - i.e. I really don't care that I eat rice, popcorn, or quinoa. Mark Sisson discusses some great points in this post, and I'm guilty of pretty much all of them. Some of my favorites are: not eating pounds and pounds of bacon or almond flour treats just because they are "paleo," and not buying too many supplements and crazy stuff to support the lifestyle. I think there is a great internet community that supports real food.  However, sometimes people will get in partnership with companies and make you think you need to buy this collagen supplement, oil, bars or whatever - as if you're not paleo if you don't buy it! It's so not true. 4. Millenial Farmers Fight an Uphill Battle  Did you know the average age of the american farmer is 58 years old? This article discusses the younger farmers coming on to the scene (I hope to be one of them), who eschew conventional ideas of factory farming and are starting a new food movement. I particularly loved this comment at the end of the article:

"Even with all of the difficulties getting started, the risk, the time investment, change of lifestyle (I was a tech entrepreneur, and my wife an accountant), I would do it all over again. Getting up before dawn, drinking a cup of coffee as I watch the sun start to climb the hills, taking my 3 kids out before school to feed the animals, knowing that everything I do that day will have some kind of lasting effect on our goals as a family operation, is incredibly fulfilling. We are just starting out, and we have much to learn, but I'm looking forward to next 45 years of my life with even greater anticipation. How much more could you ask for."

Wow, that comment is just... everything. 5. Got Allergies? Your Gut Microbes Could Be Responsible  Great read about adding in foods that support gut microbiota diversity. I'm definitely not doing as good of a job as I should, especially since I struggle with allergies and asthma. 6. Why You Should Ditch the Classes and Pick Up Some Weights Alyssa, from Mom on the Move, started out with group fitness - but quickly realized it wasn't giving her the results she wanted. She's definitely not bashing people for getting moving (because any exercise is good!), but she is pointing out that a lot can be missing from your standard aerobics-type class. 7. 9 Tips for Helping Your Little Ones Adjust to a Time Difference With a couple of super long flights to Hawaii and back with twins, I can totally relate to her tips here. The time difference once we got to our destination was definitely less of a big deal than it was just getting through the 9 hour flights! I was lucky enough to sit next to a former OB/GYN last time who LOVED babies and didn't mind being kicked while they nursed LOL. 8. Maybe This Is The Easy Part Great post from a mommy of twins + 2. I don't know how she does it, but she has an awesome outlook on the whole situation! Thanks for reading! If you have any posts that you'd like to me to read and potentially add to the next volume, please contact me - (ashley [at] downhomeduo.com) or comment. If you have any thoughts on these posts - I would love to read them below!

Not to sound cheesy, but spring is the season of new beginnings, right? There is that sense of renewal when the trees are budding and the birds are chirping. I made a lot of changes in my life this winter - it has not been easy. My whole family is putting a lot of effort into helping me finish school - it has taken a huge leap of faith for everyone involved. I can't help but think how grateful I am for the opportunity to improve myself and work towards new goals. I thought it would be a nice idea to "put pen to paper" and think about what I'd like to accomplish this season. I haven't been posting my workouts the past week or two. They've definitely been happening, but I've been super sick and trying to take it a little easier. I have asthma, so getting sick is a huge barrier to working out hard. I'm hoping this week I'll start to feel better and start posting again! twins Family: 1. Spend a lot of time with family, enjoying the beautiful children we have and cherishing our time together. 2. Plan an awesome overnight date with my husband and a fun, little family trip. 3. Take more videos of my sweet girls learning, playing, and enjoying. Save them 1000 times on 8 different devices, burn them onto DVDs, etc. (I hate this job, but it needs to happen!) IMG_2036 Professional: 1. Successfully complete my first nursing clinical this summer - really nervous about this one! I'm sure I will be fine, but I've worked so hard and waited so long to get here. I just want to make sure I'm giving it my all. 2. Post on the blog 2-3 times per week, increase readership. 3. Stay organized with school - I have a tendency to be more like "organized chaos" - which is not very organized at all. 4. Study for boards as I go, try not to be last minute about it. I took a two year hiatus from school to have my babies, so I really need to be reviewing material A LOT! [caption id="attachment_454" align="aligncenter" width="499"]Study partner! Study partner![/caption] fitness Fitness: 1. String together several strict pull ups. (Right now I can only do one at a time without a band.) 2. Accomplish 65# overhead squat 3. Power clean 115# 4. Work on pistols (I broke my ankle several years ago - ankle mobility is a huge issue for me here!) 5. Do a ring dip! 6. Starting to think about potentially competing in bikini/figure at some point in the next year or two - am I crazy!??? IMG_2787 Nutrition: 1. Focus on less gluten-free cheat meals. I love GF pizza and GF bread, etc... but it's been too much lately. I want to focus more on having that as a truly a "treat." 2. Kick my every night chocolate habit. I love chocolate, and I don't think it's bad for you. I just have a tendency to WAY overdo it. A few times a week would be much better than every day. Personal: 1. Read The Bible daily. I have the app, She Reads Truth, that has a convenient 1 year bible format. I've been trying to commit to reading each night, even if it's only just the new testament passages. It's really a lot better than the print format because it tells you the % completed and that's really motivating! I really need to stop making excuses on this one. 2. Develop more confidence and empower myself to be who I am. This is a tough one, and it's truly hard to apply. But, from things like just writing more and not seeking approval from others before I post, or sharing my real, post-baby body on social media - those are all things that are important to get out there. KBsnatch Your turn: I'd love to read about your goals for the spring/summer, whether it be personal/professional, fitness-related, or not!