Last up in our blog series is Ashlee Thomas. Everyone meet Ashlee!
us a bit about yourself.
I’m a born and raised Southern California girl now recently living (and loving) life in Dallas, Texas. My husband, Chris, and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage this summer and I have two kiddos. Luke is 7 and in the 1st grade and Emilee is 4 and in Pre-K.
I have a bachelor's degree in communication with a minor in broadcast journalism (maybe that's why Cara and I get along so well?) I spent most of my career in the health insurance industry until I decided not to go back to work after having my first baby. I recently completed a nutrition certification course.
2. How did you find CCN?
I found Cara through a blogger/turned real life friend, Andrea Howe. My first CCN challenge as a participant was Spring into Summer 2016. One challenge and I was hooked! In January 2017, I was hired to help manage some of our social media channels.
3. Briefly describe your role at CCN.
I started out just managing our Pinterest account and now a year later am a certified nutritionist! In addition to coaching individual clients, I am also the customer support manager and Cara’s executive assistant.
4. What is you favorite CCN meal?
Oh gosh that’s tough! There is normally one recipe from each challenge that I end up loving and making on repeat. Crockpot Turkey Tacos from my first CCN challenge is probably at the top of the list.
5. What is your favorite food indulgence?
I have a serious sweet tooth – cupcakes and donuts are my jam. I also love a good glass of Pinot Noir. And tacos, I really love tacos. I pretty much love all food.
6. What do you do for exercise?
My husband challenged himself to run a ½ marathon 3 years ago for his 30th birthday and being the competitive person that I am, I started running as well. I’ve completed 3 half marathons (2 in Southern CA and 1 in Maui) and plan to run my first one in Dallas sometime this year. For cross-training, I LOVE Kayla Itsines SWEAT app. I've been following her workouts for almost 3 years now.
7. When not being totally awesome and working at CCN, what are you up to?
Mom taxi for life! Between the kids’ activities and work, there isn’t a ton of downtime. My husband and I love trying out new restaurants for date night and traveling, when we can. I also love to read and try to squeeze that in whenever I get the chance.
8. Why do you love CCN?
I love my job and am so passionate about it because I have seen firsthand how our food philosophy changes lives, first and foremost with my own.
10 years ago, when my husband and I got married, I weighed the least I’ve ever weighed but I was FAR from healthy. We were the packaged food industry’s dream. Lean Cuisines and 100 calorie snack packs were our dietary staples. It was all about the calorie count and not about where the calories came from.
3 years ago I was introduced to Whole30 and did it successfully 3 different times that year. But any "weight" I lost came right back because I simply cannot live in a world without bread and cheese. I’m a Type A perfectionist so food was very black/white for me. I was either eating good or bad – there was no in between. And Whole30 reinforced this thinking in a very negative way. It left me feeling that even good for you foods like beans, brown rice, and peanut butter were “bad.” It was a constant yo-yo that was wreaking havoc on my metabolism.
I found Cara in the spring of 2016 and gave one of her group challenges a try. I was SHOCKED for so many reasons. First that no foods were truly off limits. Second, there was so much food! I remember emailing Cara telling her that she had made a mistake and given me too much food to eat because I was never hungry. And you should be hungry if you’re trying to lose weight, right? Turns out I was severely under-eating. And also turns out Cara knows what she’s talking about. ;-)
Fast forward to 2 years of the CCN lifestyle and I have finally found the food freedom I’d been so desperately seeking. I have visible abs for the first time in my life (and that’s saying something after 2 kids) and I'm still able to live my life with the occasional pizza and cupcake minus all the horrible food guilt. It’s nice to not always be starving and to know that there’s room for carbs in a healthy diet.
I believe in what we’re doing because it’s simple and it works. It’s a great feeling to watch someone “get it” and take off running towards a healthier lifestyle.
Ashlee's Favorite Crockpot Turkey Tacos
1 pound lean ground turkey breast
1 cup of organic unsweetened fresh salsa
1 large tomato, diced
1 Tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup corn kernels
For serving: romaine or bibb/boston lettuce, diced avocado, black olives, fresh chopped cilantro
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot. Cover and set to cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours. Serve over chopped romaine lettuce or in lettuce cups. Top each serving with ¼ diced avocado + 2 Tablespoons slice black olives (rinsed & drained if from a can) + fresh chopped cilantro.