Welcome, I'm Monique! Ambitious Kitchen is a blog devoted to clean eating, healthier baked treats, plus my passion for fitness and nutrition. Bottom line, I love to inspire others in and out of the kitchen! Read more.
OMG. Life’s been crazy lately. I mean really insane. With the #SummerSWEATseries happening, recipe development, other amazing projects plus travel, I haven’t had the chance to sit down and really write to you about what’s been going on in my life.
So let’s step back a few months and chat about all the deliciousness, good things, bad junk and everything in between. But first go grab your morning cup of coffee and then we can sit down for a chat.
A few months ago, I attended a conference in Chicago with some bloggers. We rented a house and all got together and chatted about all things blogging. I took away so many beneficial things for AK; it always helps to get outside perspective from others in your industry. Plus, I loved meeting other bloggers that I’ve always noticed online but never had the chance to meet in person.
Anyone else love milkshakes as much as I do? I’m asking because I’ve made you one that tastes EXACTLY like that delicious minty chocolate chip one from you know where (BIG M).
I will tell let you in on a little secret: Tony is OBSESSED with McDonald’s; I can’t get him to stop eating it. In fact, I think he eats quite a bit of it when I’m not around. Quite disturbing for someone who runs a health-focused food blog, right?!
I guess opposites really do attract? Or something like that anyway haha.
Each and every Summer since I was a babes, I’ve gone to a family cabin in Northern Minnesota to celebrate the 4th of July. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite holidays because we all get together and celebrate with ridiculous little traditions.
It all starts early in the morning when my Godmother (my second Mom) puts an old school Shaggy CD on full blast. When we were little, we hated his music with a passion. These days, it makes us laugh and we stumble out of our rooms cracking up and shaking our heads.
Ready to kick off week 3 of the #SummerSWEATseries?! I know I am!
Last week Tony came to Chicago for a few of his off days and we had an amazing time exploring restaurants around the city. This basically means I ate too much pizza and skipped two days of workouts. Not a big deal since I made sure we walked at least 6 miles a day and played tennis, but I still felt like I was missing out on my normal routine. As soon as I got to Alabama I got myself back to the gym ASAP!
I’m so excited because today I get to pick up Tony from the airport. We have a fun few days planned in Chicago, then I’ll be headed back to Alabama with him for another week or so. He usually never gets any time off during the season so we are going to soak up some Summer in the city.
The agenda so far consists of heading to Eataly, seeing a show at Second City, watching the new Jurassic Park movie and of course, eating at all the delicious restaurants I picked out myself. If it was an option, Tony would choose deep dish pizza every single time.
I’m so unbelievably excited to bring you the second week of the #SummerSWEATSeries! Can I just say that I’ve been blown away by your tremendous effort and motivation?! I LOVE seeing your photos in our Facebook group and on Instagram (use the hashtag #SummerSWEATSeries).
Last week I did a few of the workouts myself. My overall favorite was the 10 to 1 lower body + abs workout; I was able to get it done in 30 minutes and was a hot sweaty mess when finished. If you follow me on snapchat (ambitiouskitch), you probably already saw me working out in my living room screaming that my ass hurt.
I just recently signed up for Classpass in Chicago, so I’ve been checking out new studios and doing workouts I’ve never done before. This coupled with the #SummerSWEATSeries workouts have left me completely exhausted. Yesterday I even took a nap for 4 hours. And I’m usually anti-naps. On the bright side, I’m definitely seeing results, especially in my legs. It’s amazing how much a week of clean eating and intense workouts will do for your body.
But let’s get to this week’s workouts because again, they are AMAZING!
I’m back with my favorite weekend obsessions and a special giveaway thanks to my friends over at Fresh n’ Lean.
Have you heard of Fresh n’ Lean yet? A month or so ago, I had the privilege of trying their healthy (and organic + vegan-friendly) meal delivery service. The company is based out of L.A. and was kind enough to send me breakfasts, lunches and dinners to sample. The meals arrived on a Friday morning so I was able to dig into breakfast right away. In no means was this meant to be a ‘cleanse’ of any sorts, just something new to try. Plus who doesn’t love when someone preps a healthy meal for them?
My initial reaction: I was completely smitten with how delicious and fresh tasting each of the meals were. And don’t worry, they definitely don’t skimp you out on portions. I was FULL and my belly was happy thanks to the plant-based food.
Hi! I apologize for the downtime on my site today. What a mess! Anyway I’m back with an epic Wellness Wednesday post that I was able to tie into the #SummerSWEATSeries. If you’re following our program along, I hope that you’ve been enjoying the workouts and meal plan. I’ve been doing my best to prep the meals and do the workouts; it’s been SO MUCH FUN! In fact, last night I made Lee’s Kung Pao Chicken and it was AMAZING; I can’t wait to have it for dinner tonight.
Ever since we started the Summer SWEAT Series, I’ve realized how much I needed to have a program that was realistic enough for me to stick to. Each and every time I’ve tried to follow a diet or meal plan, I always end up bingeing on the things I have felt were off limits. That’s why when we put this meal plan together, we thought about the foods that we LOVED to eat (including dessert!). And the workouts? Well, they’re definitely tough but the Facebook group is keeping me motivated, so thank you for coming along on this journey with Lee and I.
Even though we have planned workouts, I know that there are some days were I have a million things to do. Especially lately! And what does that mean exactly? Well sometimes I’m not able to get in a good 30 minute workout and really get my sweat on. Other times I’m traveling and don’t have all the equipment I need to make the workout as effective as it should be. That’s where this 10 minute FAT-BURNING workout comes in! I picked a mix of my favorite tough cardio and leg workouts to create an easy to follow calorie-burning workout!
Best of all you can do these moves ANYWHERE; there’s absolutely no equipment required! And trust me, this workout is going to get your heart rate up and bring it back down again quite a few times. #SWEATFEST
Oh hi. Last week I was in New Mexico due to an urgent family matter. While the circumstances were unfortunate, I was lucky enough to spend time with many of my family members that I hadn’t seen in over a year.
While down there, I learned that a few of my cousins recently started doing Crossfit. I’ve always been nervous about Crossfit, probably because one time I watched the Crossfit games on ESPN and saw women flipping tires and bulked out like the Hulk. That’s awesome, but it’s just not me. However, I needed a good workout and my cousins certainly didn’t look bulky, so I decided to sign up for an afternoon sweat session.
And guess what?! It was AWESOME. Yes, it was difficult and my legs were sore for a few days, but I loved the energy and lifting aspect of the class. I can definitely see how you could get easily toned. I’d love to know if any of you have ever done Crossfit!
Hi there! Welcome to Week 1 of the #SummerSWEATSeries! Who’s ready to start eating healthy and get their sweat on?! I know I am!
As mentioned previously, this week we’ll be sharing the weekly workouts, meal plan and grocery list. If you’re a member of our Facebook group, then you’ll get early access to each week’s meal plan and grocery list so you can prep early. We’d love for you to join us!
Today I’ll be providing the meal plan and grocery list for you to download. Check out Lee’s post for the Week 1 Fitness Plan; it’s one of my favorites because it has emphasis on both cardio and lower body. Booty booty booty, rockin’ everywhere!
Are you one of those people who wishes that you could find adorable pieces to wear all at one place instead of driving from one department store to the next? I think my style has started to become a Pinterest dream, meaning I love looking at all of the pieces I wish I had. These days life has gotten too busy for me to go shopping. Occasionally I’ll stop in my favorite local boutique for an hour or two, but even that’s becoming rare. And to think, I used to look forward to spending an entire day trying on clothes and driving from mall to mall.
But thank goodness for Golden Tote, an online clothing delivery boutique that provides a unique tote full of clothes based upon your online style profile.
I was able to choose two out of my six pieces; Golden Tote picked out the other four pieces based on my personal style profile that I filled out online. The pieces were mostly spot on and I LOVED receiving a box of clothes in the mail. (Who wouldn’t?!) Another great perk? This tote only costs $149 and includes FREE shipping! I felt like that’s a pretty great deal for cute pieces that I’ll wear again and again. Oh and they also offer a smaller tote for $49 that includes 2-3 articles of clothing. Totally fun, right?!
And if you don’t like some of the pieces you receive, you can always hop on over this Facebook group where you can exchange items with other customers.
Lee and I have been working hard to bring you incredible workouts, nutritious meal plans, helpful grocery lists and MORE! Today I want to share with you a few extra details of what you can expect on June 14th!