Interview with Ashley from Cook it Healthier

Do what you can and admire your baby steps in progress. If you can make a recipe but don’t have all the fancy ingredients it calls for, who cares, as long as you’re incorporating more veggies or removing as much processed food as you can, that’s a win. Always be proud of yourself because nobody else can DO YOU!

Tell us about yourself!

Hi! My name is Ashley Spence (still getting used to that…I just got married last October and i’m currently in the process of changing my name…IT IS A  PROCESS). Anyways, my name is Ashley and I live in Dallas, Tx currently and have lived here for 5 years now. I’m originally from Kansas #RockChalk!

Like I said, I just got married last October and as if that wasn’t exciting enough, we got pregnant very quickly (which is a blessing) and so i’m now entering my second trimester! Bring on ALLL the life changes 🙂

I recently decided to quit my full-time job at a big creative agency here in Dallas, Tx. to go back to doing freelance digital marketing for smaller, local businesses while also putting more time into my blog: This decision was tough because I was afraid of what others would think of me doing this (is she lazy? her blog isn’t big yet… what is she doing? She couldn’t hang at a big agency) Then I realized that I didn’t care what or if everyone else was thinking those things because this was a decision that made me happy and it worked for me and my growing family. Crazy that at age 32 i’m still worried about what others think of me, right? Hey, it’s just life, right? I’m workin’ on it!

Share your approach to food with us: what do you like to cook? Why?

My approach has always been to eat the foods I like, but find creative ways to make them just a little healthier. If i’m thinking of my day of eating holistically, then maybe a meal needs to have fewer carbs and more protein, so i’ll add an egg to that meal or maybe I know i’m going to do a big workout and will need healthy carbs to fuel me + protein, so i’ll make a smoothie.

I started this approach about 10 years ago when I was getting ready to enter the real world after college and realized I hated the way I looked and felt. I had magically (ok, it was really my own doing -late night eating, eating crap, not exercising) gained 40lbs. I joined Weight Watchers online and it really helped me put into perspective what I was eating in a day. I could still eat things I loved, but if I found healthier ways to make them, then I wouldn’t be starving myself or missing out on tasty foods.

I’ve been following this same mentality for a long time and I love finding recipes on Pinterest or cooking childhood favorites my mom used to make, but find healthier ways to approach them. Most often you will find me subbing out as much processed food as possible to use real foods and all-natural ingredients.

Describe your food personality in 5-7 words







What are your favorite recipes? Why? Tell us about them!

Skinny Taco Lasagna

I love this recipe because it’s one that everyone will love. These are my favorite kinds of recipes because I want adults to live healthier lives while also being able to share those same values with their families. So when there is a recipe that kiddos will approve of, then that one is a real winner! Recipe here. 

30 Minute Creamy Cauliflower Soup

This recipe is great because it has so much flavor with not a ton of effort. Plus, you can whip this up in no time at all and make it last all week. So it makes meal prepping a cinch or just makes a cozy winter meal after a long day of work!  Recipe here. 

Chile Lime Roasted Chickpea Salad

Ok so this one is great because it is like a flavor explosion in your mouth! Yes, roasted chickpeas are nothing new, but I thought I would take it to another level by adding in a little Primal Kitchen Chile Lime mayo and WHOA. FLAVOR. BOMB. Recipe here. 

What’s your favorite thing about Want the Recipe?

I love when others support each other. If there’s one thing I know from being in the digital marketing side of things, it’s that there is plenty of room for many different bloggers and influencers.

What food can you not live without?

Hummus and pretzels. I realize this is technically a snack, and two different foods, but it’s my absolute favorite thing in the world. Both of them together or both of them separately.

My favorite hummus brands are Ithaca Cold Crafted or Grandma’s Hummus and I don’t just have any old pretzels either. I love Unique pretzels, as well as Uncle Jerry’s pretzels!

What kitchen appliance do you swear by?

My life changed the day I got my food processor. I actually have two different sizes and I use both equally as much. I have the small one for dips and small amounts of chopped veggies, while the medium sized one is great for just about anything else!

What are your favorite blogs/ Instagram accounts that you follow? What do you like about them?

Some of my favorite accounts are:

@thedefineddish – if you aren’t following her already, go do it! I just like her casual, non-pretentious attitude.

@inagarten – she is my ultimate inspo. I want to be her when I grow up! Plus her cookbooks are all amazing.

@maxlugavere – I read his book Genius Foods and it really changed the way I thought about what I ate. I like following him to remind myself of what’s fueling my body and brain properly.

@thebigmansworld – because all his treats always look so good! He inspires me to try and bake more, though I haven’t really done it yet, it will happen one day!

Do you have any advice for our food community?

Do what you can and admire your baby steps in progress. If you can make a recipe but don’t have all the fancy ingredients it calls for, who cares, as long as you’re incorporating more veggies or removing as much processed food as you can, that’s a win. Always be proud of yourself because nobody else can DO YOU!

What’s your Instagram handle, blog link, any other social media or accounts you’d like us to share!

You can find me on:

Instagram: @cookithealhy




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