Tuesday, February 9, 2016

22 Minute Hard Corps

22 Minute Hard Corps is a new boot-camp style, military-inspired workout from Tony Horton. If you're looking to get an intense workout at home in just 22 minutes a day (really!) then 22 Minute Hard Corps is for you!

I got to try out a sneak peek of one of the 22 Minute Hard Corps cardio workouts this weekend and it was intense!

22 Minute Hard Corps is an 8 week program with minimal equipment required. It is fast paced, with basic moves and patterns and minimal rest. It is a quick, no-nonsense workout that is designed to help you get into great shape. There is an easy to follow nutrition plan to accompany the workouts. 

I liked how straight-forward it was - you really make the most of 22 minutes! And if your workout is just 22 minutes of your day, what excuse do you have to not do it?? I pushed myself to get it done and was a sweaty mess by the end. The moves are simple but effective and Tony Horton is his charming, goofy self. It would be a great workout for anyone who loves a boot camp style workout, and who would benefit from being able to do their workout in just 22 minutes. 

This program is launching on March 1 - be the first to know when it's available and enter to win your very own copy!

And you if you think this would be the right program for you and would like to have me as your coach to help you get the best results, be sure to save a spot in my next challenge group

Monday, February 8, 2016

From Scratch Cooking: 2016 Edition

From Scratch Cooking is an awesome yearly initiative from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. It is a digital cookbook for a cause, and this year's edition is benefitting Pencils of Promise. I am so proud of the work that all of the graduates of the CNE Program do, and this digital cookbook puts together 44 of their amazing recipes. The cookbook is available with a donation of your choice and all money raised will go towards Pencils of Promise.

Since I was on the team who helped to put together the book, I had the pleasure of pouring over all of the recipes and photos extensively. The recipes are gluten free, nourishing and delicious with awesome photos. So far I have made Robyn's breakfast cookies and Sondi's halvah oatmeal. (I was on an oat kick it seems)

Both were awesome!! I'm looking forward to making my way through the book and trying some more of the recipes. (These veggie burrito bowls and chocolate almond butter cups are definitely on my list!)

While the recipes are wonderful, this digital cookbook is about so much more than that. Pencils of Promise does amazing work helping to provide education, educational tools and schools to children in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos. Through their programs, they're working to change learning experiences for children in need and it's incredible to play a role in that. 

Since launching From Scratch last Monday we've raised more than $5,000, which is enough to send 200 kids to school for a year. It's been a very exciting week in the kitchen as we've seen the orders come in! We would love to increase that number to make an even bigger donation to help even more children have access to education. 

And to give you a sneak peek into the awesome recipes that have been included, I'm happy to share this Mediterranean Frittata from Vanessa Gilic! It makes for a great breakfast (and can be prepped in advance to enjoy throughout the week) or you can enjoy it as a protein-rich dish at any meal. 

Mediterranean Frittata

Recipe + Photo Credit: Vanessa Gilic
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  7-10 minutes
Number of Servings: 4

1 Tbsp olive oil or ghee
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 handfuls baby spinach
¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
½ red pepper, diced
4 large pastured eggs
1 tsp dried oregano
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup crumbled goat feta cheese, optional
Handful torn basil for garnish

Recipe Directions:
1. Preheat the oven broiler to high.
2. Heat olive oil or ghee in an 8-inch cast iron pan (or other oven-safe pan) over medium heat.  Add the red onion and cook until it begins to colour (add some water if it starts to stick).
3. Add the spinach, olives and red pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes until the spinach is cooked down.
4. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl with the oregano and pepper. Pour into the pan over the veggies. Sprinkle over the feta cheese, if using, and cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes or until the frittata begins to set.
5. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the frittata is golden and cooked through.
6. Let it sit for 5 minutes before garnishing with torn basil and slicing into thick wedges.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Life is (still) Sweet

Life is sweet.
I want you to remember that.
It's something that I have believed for as long as I can remember. And it all started with my mom, Debbie.

Life is sweet month - Ashley Gibson's blog

My mom committed suicide when I was 13, and her life (and death) have greatly impacted my life. I've always been very open about my mom's death and opening up a dialogue about suicide and mental health, because I truly believe that it is something we don't talk about enough in our society.

For the last 3 years, every February I have hosted 'Life is Sweet' month here on my blog. It started with a show that I did to honour my mom's memory and then I thought that hosting a series of guest blog posts would be an incredible way to open up an even bigger conversation about mental health, loss and grief.

From 2013-2015 more than 50 people shared their stories candidly. Their bravery had a huge ripple effect on those who read the posts and the dialogue that followed. I shared posts from friends, family members, former lovers, internet acquaintances and complete strangers, of all ages, backgrounds and life stories. I was continually inspired, moved, and often brought to tears by their stories and their willingness to share.

Some participants told me things they had never shared publicly. Others told me how thankful they were for the opportunity to write about their experience and how it greatly impacted their life. In sharing these posts and my story through this blog series and my Life is Sweet shows, many other people told me their own stories of mental health, mental illness, grief and loss. 

Year after year, the Life is Sweet series has taught me that we need to keep the conversation going - it's not about one day, one week or one month - it needs to be happening year round, because mental illness is a thing that is happening every day in the lives of those around us. All of these people are a reminder that the conversation doesn't end and that it's up to all of us to end the negative stigma around mental illness. 

This project has brought me closer to my mom. Since 1999, February has always filled me with dread - it's cold, dark and dreary here in Canada and to make matters worse, I've always had to contend with my mom's death anniversary at the end of it. It's been 18 years since my mom died and over the last few years I've been so grateful to not only share her story, but to bring a positive light to her death. My blog posts and show have been an opportunity for new people to get to know my mom, and in a way, for me to spend time with her too. I continue to miss her every day. 

These are all of the stories that have been shared from 2013-2015. In the future I hope to categorize them by topic, but wanted to start by sharing them all in one place. I encourage you to read them, share them and keep the conversation going.

February 2013

A Little More Time - Part One / Part Two

February 2014

Debbie Gibson and Ashley Gibson

February 2015

Debbie Gibson - Life is Sweet month

Other Posts About My Mom, Mental Health and Grief

Oh they told you life is hard, misery from the start, it's dull, it's slow, it's painful 
But I tell you life is sweet, in spite of misery, there's so much more, be grateful

- Natalie Merchant

Life is sweet.
I want you to remember that.

Life is Sweet month - stories of mental illness, mental health, grief and loss

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Master's Hammer and Chisel - Month One Recap

4 weeks of The Master's Hammer and Chisel are now complete! I have officially finished month 1!


So much quality time with Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev. Watch the video for a full recap, including my best tips for anyone getting started with Hammer and Chisel.

I am feeling happy, proud, sore - but most of all STRONGER! I've been having a lot of fun staying accountable through blogging my experience with this program and the meal plan.

You can read about my first 3 weeks here:

The Master's Hammer and Chisel Week One
The Master's Hammer and Chisel Week Two
The Master's Hammer and Chisel Week Three

Here's to heavier weights, lots of sweat and many more delicious and nourishing meals!

If you're interested in learning more about this program, I would love to connect! Send me a message and let's talk about your goals and how I could support you as your coach!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hammer and Chisel - Week 3

The Master's Hammer and Chisel week 3

Another week of Hammer and Chisel is in the books - I can hardly believe it!

This week I saw the return of a bunch of workouts (Total Body Hammer, Chisel Agility, Max Hammer Strength, Hammer Plyometrics and Iso Strength Chisel) plus one new-to-me workout (Total Body Chisel) I realized once I started doing the workout, it was actually the one that I tried when the sneak preview opened up in October and was MUCH harder with a bench and heavier weights. I love the variety in this workout - you never really know what to expect and some workouts you don't see again for more than 2 weeks so it feels totally fresh!

With the support of our January accountability group, I was practicing the positive mantra 'I am strong' all week, which was incredibly positive. I had this posted on my mirror for the week as a reminder when I was lifting heavier weights and really pushing myself. 

The Master's Hammer and Chisel

During Max Hammer Strength this week, I busted out the 25 lbs weight for the sumo squats and deadlifts - it felt awesome!

I was up early on Saturday for some plyo with Sagi, and was reminded of the craziness of the in and out jumps

A video posted by ashley gibson (@ashleydtl) on

That is one move that didn't get particularly easier -- maybe my breathing wasn't AS heavy as the first time!?

Annnnd I stuck with the containers once again - I loved my flexible meal plan!

Master's Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Master's Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Master's Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Master's Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Master's Hammer and Chisel meal plan

Pictured above: midnight granola baking adventures, chicken salad, tempeh stir fry with rice noodles and bok choy, baked turkey meatballs over zucchini noodles and oatmeal with pears, peanut butter and pecans.

Shakeology in the snow

Thankful for superfoods on the go. I just ran out of my Shakeology earlier this week and was asking Corbin to borrow a couple of scoops from him until my next shipment arrives!

Beachbody Coach Ashley Gibson on week 3 of The Master's Hammer and Chisel

My meal plan this week includes: apple banana muffins, taco salad, minestrone soup and stuffed bell peppers - yum! I've been enjoying making my way through the Fixate cookbook and trying out a bunch of new stuff alongside old favourites. I've been saving lots of money by packing almost all of my meals and the meal plan has been encouraging me to really fuel my body with 3-4 solid meals plus 2-3 snacks each day.

Week 4 - let's go!!

How is January shaping up for you? Are you interested in learning more about the Master's Hammer and Chisel or another workout you can do at home? This is the last call for my February Challenge Group beginning Monday, February 1st - RSVP to save your spot!