Ashley Beaver is the amazing lady behind Livin Paleo! We first spotted Ashley when she lived in Australia and we are so sad we never got to meet her! She is a CrossFit machine (her videos are awe-inspiring and jaw dropping… if you’re not following her on Instagram then you should!) this girl is amazing! Plus, she shares super simple, hearty recipes that are definitely drool worthy over on her blog! Including these Paleo Protein Muffins, or as Ashley likes to call them: BUFFins (tehehe, she’s cute too!). Get to know Ashley Beaver from Livin Paleo a little better by reading more…
When did you start CrossFit and how has it changed your life?
I started CrossFit a little over 5 years ago. I grew up doing competitive gymnastics and cheerleading and during college I started seeing a personal trainer, Gabe Subry. I enjoyed training with him and the others who came in; it was constantly varied and always kicked my butt. After college I moved away and found a CrossFit gym, Gabe had told me to seek one out, and I instantly fell in love. Everyone I met was so friendly and I thrived on the competition. It made it exciting. I moved around a few times for my job, and my CrossFit training wasn’t very consistent. I was mostly doing it to stay in shape and to have fun while I was doing it. In 2011 my best friend and I decided to leave our jobs and move to Australia. I was nervous, but it turned out to be one of the best life decisions I’ve ever made. I ended up working and living there for two years, upon which I started taking my CrossFit training more seriously.
I competed in the open for the first time in 2012 in Australia and shocked myself with a fairly decent performance. I didn’t qualify for regionals, but I did better than I expected. I think it was at that point when I decided I had a shot at being a competitive athlete in this sport if I trained properly. I think it was also at that point which my job became extra stressful and I realised I didn’t have the amount of time I really needed to train. Also, a year and a half into my Australian adventure my dad was in a horrible farming accident that almost took his life. I struggled a bit after that, being so far away, so at the end of 2012 I moved back home to be with my family. At this point I was jobless and had plenty of time to train. So I went to see my old coach Gabe who now owned CrossFit 209 sport and started training every day. It was so much fun. They then asked me to compete on their regional team. I really had no idea what to expect, but I was excited. It also didn’t take me long to realise that I wanted to make a career out of this. So I completed my level 1 course and got hired by CrossFit Pleasanton shortly after. Last year I also began training at WarriorZ CrossFit with some friends and I’m looking forward to competing as a part of team Caffeine and Kilos with them this year. It’s been an amazing experience to say the least.
What’s your favourite CrossFit move?
There’s a lot I love about CrossFit. The gymnastics portion has made it fun and exciting for me because that’s what I grew up doing. The added element of weight lifting though has really been exciting. I love Olympic weightligting, especially the snatch. It seems like such a simple movement, picking the weight off the ground and lifting it over your head in one motion, however, it’s one of the most difficult lifts to master. I’ve spent 5 years working on it and continue to learn something new about it every day. I love that.
What does a day in the life of Ashley Beaver look like? We want to know what you do and what you eat!
A day in the life? Well right now my schedule is a bit hectic, but I wouldn’t trade it. I get a lot of sleep though, I think that helps me a lot. I love to sleep! I get up around 8 or 9am every morning and start my day with a big breakfast and lots of coffee. I’m a bit of a coffee addict… maybe I shouldn’t admit that. I also try to prep some meals two mornings a week, like Monday and Thursday. It helps a lot because I work late, and I train a lot, so I need to make sure I have good food ready, otherwise I grab crap which in turn makes me feel like crap. One or two mornings a week I’ll go for a jog or a swim, then I head into work at CrossFit Pleasanton. I work from 1pm to 8:30pm Monday through Friday teaching a variety of classes. I teach our daily CrossFit Work Out of the Day (WOD) as well as a core class, a mobility class, a gymnastics class and an advanced WOD. I absolutely love going into work every day. The people I train and work with make my job extremely rewarding. Right now I also train at WarriorZ CrossFit which has helped me improve as an athlete tremendously. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing athletes and coaches. So on Friday evenings I commute about an hour and a half to train there and I stay until Monday morning each weekend to be a part of their gym and to compete with them. It’s been an amazing experience.
What’s your advice to people trying to live a healthier lifestyle? Maybe you can provide your top 5 tips!
Make time for it. I know we’re all busy, but a few small changes can make a huge difference. Also, find a way to make it fun. CrossFit has done that for me. The workouts are never the same, I never get bored, and my friends are always there to support me and to do it with me. If I could give 5 tips that have helped me I’d say
1) find an activity you love to do, and make time for it. I love CrossFit, but I also love being outside, so I make time to swim, or hike. I love variety.
2) Find friends to workout with and hold one another accountable. Set up weekly get togethers. Then grab coffee or lunch afterwards. When you’re doing it with friends it’s more fun, and you don’t want to let one another down.
3) Meal prep. I always make sure I have fresh meat in my fridge. And I cook a large portion that will last me a few days. I also chop up any vegetables that I buy as soon as I get home, if they’re washed and ready to cook I’m more likely to use them when I get home and am tired. I also sign up for a farm fresh delivery service that delivers fresh vegetables to my house every other week. It helps support local farmers and I always have fresh veggies on hand.
4) Try new recipes! It helps when you have new things to try, so you don’t get bored eating the same things. The internet is full of resources. The recipes don’t have to be complicated either. I’m a pretty simple cooker, but I still like trying new things.
5) Enjoy yourself. Because if you aren’t you won’t stick with anything. Have fun. Don’t beat yourself up over a trip up. You can splurge once in a while, but make this a lifestyle!
If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Live life to the fullest. Travel while you’re young. Study things you’re passionate about. And never do it for the money.
We’d love to hear more about your blog ‘livin paleo’…
My blog came about through instagram. A couple years ago I was hanging out and chatting with my sister about her fitness related instagram @myroadtofitness that she had just started up. It was pretty awesome, and I wanted to do something similar. I was steadily becoming more and more paleo at that time, so she said “why don’t you start a paleo instagram to share all of your recipes and meal ideas?” So I did! She has good ideas every once in while. There weren’t really many paleo accounts on instagram at that time, so I think people enjoyed following me as a resource. It grew quickly and I realized I was having difficulty sharing all of the recipes on my phone, so I decided to start my blog as a resource to direct everyone to. My recipes are simple, extremely simple! I honestly wasn’t much of a cook before this. My blog has become a way for me to experiment in the kitchen and to share delicious, simple, healthy recipe and meal ideas with others who want to try out the paleo lifestyle and who want to get healthy and fit. Because if I can do it, anyone can!
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
I’d have dinner with you girls. And not just because it would give me an excuse to fly to Australia. But seriously, I enjoy meeting other bloggers just like me, and you girls are fabulous. Maybe we could try out the new Paleo Café’s popping up where you live and chat about new recipes. It would be so much fun.
Tell us about an exciting upcoming project that we MUST know about!
My life has been a rollercoaster lately with training and blogging and working, but it’s given me the opportunity to work with some amazing coaches and entrepreneurs. Right now I’m really interested in developing partnerships with companies in order to provide a platform of resources to my followers on the wide variety of products and services available to them that make this lifestyle simple and fun. My main focus lately has been on my training and competing this year. I love being a part of a team and I want to make sure I’m the best athlete I can be come competition time. For myself and for them.
Share your mantra, what do you live by each day?
Take chances, have fun and push the limits. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. If it makes you happy then you should definitely do it. “If you do what you need, you’re surviving. If you do what you want, you’re living.” That’s one of my favorite quotes.
Now for the fun part… share your all time favourite recipe with us! YUM!
Oh goodness pressure’s on! I might have to go with these ‘Buffins’ I recently came up with. I brought them in to share with my team and they were a hit. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I love baking.
A huge thank you to Ashley for taking the time to answer our questions, do you just want to go and lift heavy things now and do hand stands?! We do! Find the Buffin recipe below… the frosting even pipes! LOVE IT!
e + c
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup protein powder (if want 100% paleo go for 180 Nutrition but we also like BareBlends!)
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 eggs
- 3 large ripe bananas
- 3 tbs honey
- 2 tbs coconut oil melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, at room temp (not melted)
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp 100% vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a muffin pan with patty cans.
- Place the bananas, water, eggs, honey, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla in your food processor (we'd use our Vitamix) whiz on high until well combined.
- In a separate bowl stir together the coconut flour, almond flour, protein powder, baking soda and salt, then pour in with the wet ingredients and whiz again on high speed until combined.
- Place spoonfuls of mixture into the patty cans and place into the oven for 25 minutes.
- You can check if they're done by inserting a toothpick into the muffins. When it comes out clean they’re ready! Allow to cool.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. If the frosting is a little runny just place it in the fridge for a few minutes to harden up.
- Once the muffins have cooled completely you can frost them (Ashley piped them!).