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! 

This post contains affiliate links, anything you click on does not cost you any more money, but does help support my blog. Thank you! Happy Hump Day! I've never done one of these before, but I always find the way other people eat to be so fascinating. We all have our own interpretation of what's "healthy" and we all have different goals to support with our nutrition. This week is also a good time to get back on track after the big Easter holiday. I don't know about you, but I don't like to keep treats around. I'll indulge for a day or a weekend, and then everything needs to go. This week is spring break for my school, so we were home all day. Today was also an intermittent fasting day - so I didn't eat anything until after my workout. Today started out like any other - breastfeeding & coffee. Honestly, coffee & then breastfeeding is the optimal order, but no such luck today. I usually take my coffee with coconut oil and heavy cream. I find that these additives don't really break my fast, since they are purely fat and don't spike my blood sugar. coffee The twins eat breakfast after nursing & diaper changes. They pretty much eat the same thing every morning: 1 banana each and 1 scrambled egg each. Once breakfast is over, it's playtime! twins breakfast The girls nursed again and had a snack of applesauce around 10 am. We also all got our daily dose of cod liver oil. Mommy indulged in another cup of coffee. Why? Because I have twins that don't like to share and throw tantrums about it. IMG_3253 IMG_3234      IMG_3232 not sharing At 11:15, the twins ate lunch. Today was a little leftover eggs from the morning, salmon, and roasted cauliflower. They drank water and went down for a nice nap! IMG_3254 While the girls were napping, I got a great workout in.  I did the cross fit open WOD 16.5. It was terrible, in a good way. Holy thrusters and burpees! I was still breathing heavy in the shower 20 minutes later.  After that, I was so ready to eat! [caption id="attachment_399" align="aligncenter" width="150"]IMG_3264 Post-workout selfie.. I'm really bad at taking these![/caption] I had 2 organic eggs, cooked in butter & over hard, 2 cheese and organic turkey roll ups, roasted cauliflower, and an apple. IMG_3263 This is a lot of food - but don't forget I'd been fasting for almost 18 hours!

IMG_3261 (I found this turkey at Costco - it was pretty good!)

After lunch, I sat and did some work while inhaling some Nikki's Coconut Butter right out of the jar. It goes awesome with coffee. (If you're not sensing a theme here, my coffee consumption rivals that of Lorelei in Gilmore Girls.) IMG_3267 The girls woke up from their nap and had 2nd lunch. (They are awesome eaters!) 2nd lunch was avocado, followed by organic plain yogurt. I don't add anything to the yogurt - it's tart but they don't seem to mind. I also really don't want them to develop too much of a sweet tooth at this young of an age. I think it's important to learn what foods are supposed to taste like in their purest forms. IMG_3268 There was a huge tantrum when I tried to take away their spoons, so I gave them some pieces of a few medjool dates to distract them. I might have snuck a few bites too - they taste like caramel! We played some more, gave the girls a bath, and made dinner. Dinner tonight was simply roasted, organic chicken drumsticks with sautéed baby kale/chard/spinach and onions. I cooked the chicken plain with just some kosher salt, and added some Annie's barbecue sauce towards the end. The girls also had a sweet potato on the side. IMG_0007 The babies had breastmilk again before bed, and I had my protein shake. I LOVE Naked Whey grass-fed protein powder (link to amazon ). It has no flavoring or weird stuff, so I can make my shake taste however I want. I usually do organic whole milk, 1/2 frozen banana, ice cubes, 2 tbsp peanut butter, and cocoa powder (to taste). I especially love that there's no sweeteners in this protein powder, as I tend to like things a little less on the sweet side and lower in carbs. I also like to drink my protein shake at night because I always crave chocolate after a long day with the babes. IMG_0003 Now I'm working on the blog and school work - with a cup of green tea! IMG_0002 In case you're interested - I put my food intake into MyFitnessPal so you can get an idea of how much I'm eating. This is something I like to do occasionally to keep myself in check. I think I did pretty well today! WIAW1 Hope you're having a great night! I'd love to hear your thoughts: Have you gotten back on track after the holiday? Have you ever tried intermittent fasting? Do you drink more or less coffee than I do? lol :)