ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

IMPORTANT: New URL February 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ansauls @ 10:17 pm

Hey y’all, so since pictures are worth 1000 words (maybe more when they’re of a once-in-a-lifetime dish), so starting February 8, 2011, I’ll be blogging from http://ashleynicoleave.wordpress.com/. Please subscribe to this new address. Thank-you! I’ll see you on ashley nicole avenue ;)

 

A Perfect Day

Hey y’all! How’s your day been? Mine’s been right at perfect. I felt rejuvenated and alive and happy all day. Yesterday’s rest and step out of the comfort zone paid off!

Breakfast: a Sexy Bowl

  • 1/2 Haas avocado
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • organic pink lady apple
  • 2 chopped dates
  • cinnamon

Workout today: RPM (45-minute format), BodyPump, BodyFlow, taught Zumba

Then it was lunch time!!!

Look at the plate I found in the cabinet!!! Mom told me tonight that it was my baby plate, but I love the size of it for portion control, and the dividers help me keep my food from touching (I am weird about that). Do y’all care if your food touches on your plate?

Our refrigerator is full from last night’s leftovers, so I’m trying to clean it out. I made some kale chips, heated up my leftover butternut squash, a scoop of chicken kelaguen, and some hummus and the tahini dressing I made over carrots/cucumbers/celery. I really like the dressing!

Lunch dessert: check out this tea that my sweet friend Lindsay brought me to try! It’s almost like hot chocolate!

plus some grapes, 1/2 apple, 1/2 orange, and a black bean brownie. I like the brownies better cold for sure!

For snack today, I had the Green (Bay) Juice that I was going to sip on at last night’s party. I guess today I can call it Super Bowl Champion Juice ;)

LOOK WHAT I GOT IN THE MAIL, an early valentine’s gift from one of my best friends!!! Thank you soooooooooo much, Steph! You are the best!!! I can’t wait to have this for snack soon. I’m saving it! (P.s. I LOVE your stationery, Steph, and your address label!)

 

After teaching Zumba, the “baby plate” came back for din din…my salad beast of the day with balsamic tofu and mushrooms/carrots/celery/cucumbers/spinach and a tbsp of tahini garlic dressing. Plus some mixed berries (black ones, blue ones, and straw ones) hehe.

Dinner dessert: get this…start with pumpkin maple oats (1/4 cup, water, almond milk, and organic pumpkin; 1 tsp chia seeds; a little sea salt and maple extract), then crumble up a black bean brownie on top…

…then top with 1/2 chopped nanner and 1 tbsp Naturally More.

Put in your UNC mug so you can eat it while the women’s b-ball team beats DUKE!!! YAY FEAST!!!

Hey, a girl’s gotta have her oats! It was a wonderful dessert. Now I’m sippin’ on some bedtime Yogi tea. The inspiration on it tonight is “Truth is everlasting.”

I know it seems like nothing super, over-the-top fantastic happened today maybe, but it was a perfect day for me.

Getting excited for one of my best friends in the whole world who has a very special birthday tomorrow… ;)

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I have officially run out of space again for pictures on the blog, and I don’t want to delete old pictures because it removes them permanently…what do I do? I can’t afford to splurge on a space upgrade…new URL? Have any of y’all run into this problem?

 

This is How We Do it…Super Bowl Par-tay! February 6, 2011

Filed under: almond milk,black beans,dessert,dinner,frozen yogurt — ansauls @ 9:18 pm

Hey y’all. So, you know I love y’all when I’m blogging during a football game. What a halftime show! I love some football.

I know, Denver isn’t playing, but I still have to wear my jersey and represent Tebow!

After brunch, Mom and I ran errands to get ready for our party. We stopped for lunch/mid-afternoon snack at Marmalade Skies for some fro yo. I rolled with Vanilla yogurt with kiwi, raspberries, and dark chocolate chips. As I was deciding about what to get, I sampled (of course!) blueberry that was advertised as nonfat, all natural, …, BUT as I read the ingredient list, it included high fructose corn syrup and things like red number 6. How in the world can they advertise it as all-natural with high fructose corn syrup and dyes? I’m a little upset and glad that the ingredient list was included. The vanilla had 12 more calories per serving but a lot less ingredients and things I could actually identify.

All Natural Lowfat Vanilla

Serving Size 4oz. cup

Calories 80 Fat 1.5g
Protein .75g Cholesterol 0mg
Sugar 11g Sodium 30mg
Carbohydrates 17g

 

Ingredients: pure crystalline fructose, extra grade sweet whey, malt dextrin, non-dairy creamer, natural gums, yogurt solids, natural flavors, whey protein concentrate
*All-Natural, no chemicals or preservatives
*Gluten Free
*Active Yogurt Cultures
*Kosher

Like our shadows in the background? ;)

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So, as usual, dinner didn’t go as I had planned, which may be a good thing. I ended up skipping the Green (Bay) Juice “Cocktail” and just went with the food. We didn’t use my tahini dip afterwards, but I’ll use it on salad later this week. It’s good to have some stuff ready for the week. I ate some “uncomfortable” foods in moderate amounts, and, honestly, I feel fine right now.

Let me show y’all how we throw down ’round here…

1. The veggie display that I made. I love this cutting board that doubles as a display for dips as well. Our dips are 1) my Mom’s mexican cream cheese dip, some plain hummus (yay!), and my Mom’s guacamole.

2.  Chicken kelaguan that one of our best friends always makes. It’s a traditional dish from Guam that is soooo good! It’s got chicken, coconut, and tons of veggies chopped really small.

3. Family and friends…

4. Wings and chicken tenders with biscuits…

…that Daddy looooooves

5.  Nachos and beer-battered hot dogs…

…mine are the ones with blue corn chips and “cheeze” that I made out of heated almond milk and nutritional yeast.

6. Dessert spread (minus my Black (and Gold) Steel-my-Heart brownies)…key lime pie, 10-layer chocolate cake, chocolate cookie cake, monster mash and black M&Ms.

7. TV

My first plate…veggies with my guacamole and hummus, chicken kelaguen, and my nachos (blue corn chips, “cheeze” sauce, ground beef and black bean mix, olives, rotel, greek yogurt).

My second plate ;)…more of the same.

And dessert at halftime…a small piece of key lime pie, a black bean brownie, and the football out of the cookie (yes, I’m that girl that just cut the football out) ;) plus some bedtime tea and a little almond milk to drink.

Watchin’ the rest of the game…

Gotta love football.

What was your favorite game food today? Or did you not watch it at all? How do you party?

Back to the game…

 

Game Day…My Way

Filed under: breakfast,eggs,fruit — ansauls @ 12:14 pm
Tags: , ,

Good morning!!!! I love rest days…sort off ;) Wooo…I just need to learn how to actually rest. Do y’all experience that on your days “off?” I miss my routine and feel like I should be scarfing down amazing oats and running off to the gym. However, I’m trying to take today to cook some stuff ahead for the week to use the time that I’d normally be working out.

I started off getting ready for our big Super Bowl PAR-TAY by trying to make as much ahead of time as possible so that I can relax and enjoy my guests tonight ;)

Do y’all have “safe foods”…foods that you feel comfortable eating? I definitely do, and it’s when I get out of that circle that Satan attacks my thoughts and they spiral. SO, to avoid that this evening I made some stuff to have. If others’ eat it, great…if not, more for me ;) I know there’ll be wings and nachos, which are not on my list, so here’s some eats that are…

Tahini Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing

This is a salad dressing with a creamy, thick consistency with a sharp, peppery taste. I may try it on salad later, but tonight I’m using its a (hopefully) delicious dip for vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumbers). I figured the more veggies around for me,  the better. I think this came from Kath, but I can’t remember. I just keep recipes in a “To Make” folder and use them when the time arises.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: In a food processor, process all ingredients until smooth. Makes about 1.5 cups

I also made some fresh guacamole for veggie dipping…

Homemade Guac

  • 1/2  avocado
  •  juice of 1/2 lemon
  • cumin
  • chipotle chili powder
  • cayenne
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

I also know that there will be free flowing cocktails and beer tonight, which I’m still figuring out how comfortable I feel about. I do love a good cocktail, but I am trying to be so good and detoxed until vacation in March. So, my cocktail will be…

Green (Bay) Juice  ;)

Ingredients

It’s 5:00 somewhere, right? ;)

There’ll also probably be some sort of dessert, which don’t tempt me as much as they used to, so I’ll be grazing on some…

Black (and Gold) Bean Steel-My-Heart Brownies ;)

Servings: 9

Notes: Rolled oats run through the food processor may substituted for the instant oats. Use optional sugar if your bananas are still green and not very ripe.

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 whole bananas
  • cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dark cocoa
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned oats

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.

Note: if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudge-y, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour.

Hey, I’m just hoping for a great game, so I have to play it fair when naming my eats today between Green Bay and the Steelers ;) It’s days like today when I really wish I had a VitaMix. Maybe one day, my dream will come true hehe

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Sunday Brunch was ON this morning…

I tackled another Real Simple smoothie…

Strawberry-Flax Smoothie

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place the strawberries, keifer, orange, agave, and flaxseed meal in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and frothy.

There was also an egg + 1/3 cup egg whites with mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach involved. ;)

And the masterpiece…

Pancake in a Ramekin

  • 1/2 cup peanut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • a little under 1/2 cup liquid (I did 1/2 almond milk + 1/2 water)
  • 2 tablespoons mashed banana
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • a little sexy spice
  • Toppings: WHATEVER YOU WANT!!!! I did blueberries, cacao nibs, walnuts, and a few slices of banana.  Anything goes!!  Make it yours!!

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together and pour into a ramekin.
  2. Cook in an UNpreheated oven at 420 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  3.  Then you get to play!! (I added my “toppings” before I put it in the oven, but you could do it afterwards too.)

WOW! And, would you believe it wasn’t super filling. I was afraid it would be too many calories on a rest day for breakfast, but it’s only been 1 hour and it may be snack time soon ;)

Are you watching the game, just the commercials, the half time show, or any of the festivities?

 

Today’s the Day I Tackle Tofu February 5, 2011

What’s up, lovelies? How’s your Saturday been?

Mine began with a bowl of Rainy Day Oats ;) as it was raining when I woke up, which made getting out of bed not so easy, but I couldn’t wait to get to the gym for RPM Plus. So, I made this beauty…

Rainy Day Oats

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, water, almond milk, organic PUMPKIN (brought it back…I’ve missed it!)
  • sprinkles of cinnamon and sea salt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • toppings: chopped date, blackberries, 1/4 cup Nature’s Path pumpkin seed raisin cereal for crunch,  1 tsp Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple butter, peanut flour “butter” spread (made from 2 tbsp peanut flour, sea salt, almond milk to desired consistency…PLEASE bring it back, Trader Joe’s!)

plus some red leaf chai tea

PHENOMENAL! Man, I have missed pumpkin!!! Got me all pumped for RPM.

Workout today: RPM Plus (60-minute format), 20 minute core class by a pilates instructor, and BodyPump (that I taught)

For lunch today, I knew exactly what I wanted and dreamed about it my whole workout…an “Asian Bowl.” So, I ran by the grocery store on my way home to get the ingredients. It was a cheap lunch.

Step 1: cook tofu (yes, today’s the day I learn to cook this feared ingredient of mine). After lots of recipe searching, I ended up just cooking 1/4 block of extra firm tofu in a small skillet with soy sauce for 5 minutes, turning a few times. I read a lot about pressing it for 30 minutes and cooking for another 35-ish minutes, but my growling tummy was not having that. The 5-minute fix was much better. I LOVED IT!!!

I still have 3/4 of a block left to cook  get creative with…suggestions? What should I do with it?

2. Make sauce of 2 tsp of low sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp Maranatha (one of my favorite brands of all things nut butter) Almond Butter, and water to desired consistency and to thin out.

3. Steam the mixed Asian veggies (140 calories total) and brown rice (1/2 cup) together to save a pot.

4. Top with tofu.

5. Pour on sauce.

FEAST!!!!! Oh. my. foodgasms!!! It’s so wonderful to give your tummy EXACTLY what it’s asking for. Aren’t we lucky to have access to so many ingredients? This was a filling lunch!

Mom and I ran some errands before church as I am trying to find a few key pieces for vacation after cleaning out my closet.

Snack time: can you guess? hehe

I haven’t had this flavor in ages…what a yummy treat! Still no sign of blueberry muffin around here :(

Church service tonight was amazing. All about the redemptive quality of a relationship with Christ even though we have to deal with the consequences of our sin. We’re in a series on the life of King David and how he pointed to our ultimate King, Jesus Christ, in so many ways, but could not fulfill all that Jesus was to be for us.

Dinner with my family tonight at Tony’s Oyster Bar.

Appetizer: steamed oysters on the 1/2 shell with a little cole slaw. I ate more oysters than just these ;) They were big and juicy and a little sweet…perfect!

Salad: Garden…dry (no dressing). Our waiter made a face at me when I ordered it dry. Perrrty goood ;)

Entrée: grilled mahi mahi with pineapple mango salsa and mixed sautéed veggies. This is my favorite mix of steamed veggies at a restaurant. The meal overall was just OK. I’ve had better. The veggies were soggy and maybe had a hint of butter (I’m praying that they didn’t use any on them). The fish was cooked, but just kind of ‘blah’; I’ve had better here before.

Dessert when I got home: peanut flour banana sauce with an organic pink lady apple (it had a weird taste). I used a whole nanner in the sauce this time, so it honestly could’ve used more peanut butter and/or peanut flour, but I just went with it. Plus some sleepytime tea. I missed it last night, and I don’t think I slept as well. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I think it helps

Now, I’m munching on a pear (I just looked them up, and they have about 100-120 calories in them. I had no idea!) because I was still not full. I’ve been hungry all day.

Tomorrow’s a BIG day…SUPER BOWL!!!!, and it’s rest day for me (I hope), so I have Disney research to do, blog reading to catch up on, and pancakes to make for breakfast ;). I’ll also do a reader’s request tomorrow.

Tell me ANYTHING…I am officially opening the floor for whatever you want to share with me. I just love reading your comments.

 

Holding Out for Blueberry Muffin February 4, 2011

 

Hey y’all! Happy Friday! How’s your day been? I’m a sleepy girl tonight ;)

Breakfast this morning was back to oats…and a red mug of tea for Wear Red day ;)

Today’s mix was the usual banana chia seed mix topped with 1 tbsp Naturally More (I actually measured it today, and I was surprised to find out that a tbsp is more than I thought…YAY!), some Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter, 1 chopped date, 1/2 smashed banana, and blackberries.

I did some cleaning, practiced for Zumba, then off to meet my sister for lunch at Chipotle. Normally we roll at Qdoba but because of parking in Chapel Hill, we tried Chipotle today, and I was impressed!

All this for $5.95…lettuce, black beans, a little chicken (still undecided here), fajita veggies, 3 kinds of fresh salsa (pico de gallo, medium, and sweet corn), a little guac. All their veggies are organic and chicken in antibiotic-free. The freshness of the ingredients was evident. It was a small bowl but packed a lot of punch!

And Yo Po for dessert…my 2 favorite flavas: Tahitian Vanilla and Peanut Butter (imagine that). This was one of the best yogurt mixes I’ve had there, but my little cake cone was stale, so Amber ate that for me ;)

Why did we get fro yo…It’s so chilly here?! Fro Yo is good in any weather! I actually think I like if better when it’s cold outside…weird, I know! I went to Starbucks to study and got a Vanilla Roobios to keep me company.

Then it was off to a beautiful 90-minute Hot Kunga Vinyasa Detox at One Heart Yoga (the actual class was candlelight only)…

Mira kicked our booties with some challenging arm balances and flows. WOW! I was exhausted by my last chaturanga!

As a hungry girl in the kitchen when I got home, I just wanted everything “clean and raw” that I could find…

a Pretty-in-Pink smoothie (1/2 cup keifer, ice, 5 strawberries, 1/2 frozen nanner); bowl of edamame, celery, 7 baby carrots, green beans, 5 grape tomatoes, original tahini hummus; and dessert…

…organic pink lady, grapes, 1 square of 100% unsweetened chocolate…topped with sexy spice ;)

Still a little hungry, but it’s 10:00 p.m., so I’m waiting til breakfast ;)

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So, here’s a response from Trader Joe’s regarding peanut flour…

“We have discontinued the Peanut Flour in our stores due to slow sales. Because our stores have such limited space, if an item does not meet a minimum sales volume, we will discontinue it in order to bring in something we think will sell better. I will pass your  comments on to our buyers for consideration. From time to time, if there is enough outcry to bring back a discontinued item and we are able to do so, we will give it another run. 
 
Thanks for shopping with us,
Nikki
Customer Relations”

Let ‘em know if you want it back: wcr001@traderjoes.com.

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Good news: I found a good deal on Larabars today at Whole Foods

Bad news: still no Blueberry Muffin in stores around here. :( Maybe soon…

That’s all for today. What do y’all have planned for the weekend? Super Bowl? ;)

 

Too Sexy for My… February 3, 2011

…sexy spice! What’s up, loves? It’s been a fun day for food around here!

Breakfast: I’m a Real Simple kind of girl, and this month they had a special section on smoothies. My goal is to make all 10 by the end of the month. Today’s breakfast…a take on their Banana-Cashew Smoothie.

In my mix:

  • 1/4 cup raw soaked pistachios
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon light agave syrup

Directions

  1. Place ½ cup water and the cashews in a blender.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until the cashews have softened, at least 6 hours (and up to overnight). (I keep soaked nuts and frozen bananas on hand for just this occasion ;) )
  3. Add the ice, banana, and agave syrup.
  4. Blend until smooth and frothy
  5. Top with raw old-fashioned oats, 1/2 sliced nanner, and peanut flour “butter.”

It wasn’t super filling and needed some sexy spice ;) Next time, I’ll add sexy spice.

After a lot of studying and practicing for Zumba, my rumbly tumbly was ready for some lunch! And it was a BEAST of a lunch…

… organic mixed greens, steamed Brussels sprouts, sliced baby carrots, butternut squash (cold, I know it’s weird, but I like the texture in my salad), edamame, original tahini hummus, and 3 pieces of celery. WOW!!!!

Lunch dessert: a Ball of Energy over a cup or so of grapes that I topped with sexy spice! I’ve never put sexy spice on grapes before, but I didn’t hate it!

I have been so hungry all day! Snack time brought yet another Real Simple smoothie…the Kale-Apple Smoothie and the other half of the apple I used with some almond butter.

I’ve been wanting to try this combo for a while, and it didn’t disappoint! Aren’t the colors of these smoothies so fun?! It’s like magic when you press ‘Blend.’

My Take on This One:

Directions

  1. Place the kale, celery, banana, apple juice, ice, and lemon juice in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and frothy.

I like this one!!!!!

I taught Zumba tonight to my biggest class yet! It was such a blast to feed off the crowd. Then it was cleaning out the fridge for dinner ;)

…2 chicken tenders that had been grilled with spices, the rest of my kale chips, some butternut squash (warmed), brussels sprouts and cauliflower that had been steamed and topped with nutritional yeast. I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of oil lately over all these veggies and such…I hope it’s not too much fat!

And dessert!!!! Some bedtime tea and Inside Out PB Cake that I was inspired by from Carrie

Inside Out PB Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s peanut flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash sea salt
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients and bake at 390*F for 15 minutes

ONLY 185 calories and 24g PROTEIN! (without toppings!)

Top with anything you like!! I topped mine with fudgie paste and blackberries!

Fudgie Paste (also from Carrie)

  •  1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp agave
  • splash vanilla extract
  • water to desired consistency

And of course, I topped it all with sexy spice ;) WOW!!!!! The inside was still gooey!

It’s good to be back. Off to watch some surgery on Grey’s! Reader’s Request on the way!

I read Romans 14:13-23 this morning. Am I am stumbling block for my family as far as food goes? I try to educate them in love, but I fear I come across as judgmental and condescending. I don’t want to be a stumbling block for them, for y’all, or for me with all my crazy thoughts lately. I’ve become a lot more vulnerable on this blog than I ever imagined. Do you experience this? I’d love to hear what you think.

Romans 14:13-23 (NIV)

 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall. 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.[a]

Today’s inspiration: (from my tea bag): “Experience your own body, your own mind, and your own soul.” This was great for me as I still haven’t decided how I feel about eating meat, and I had chicken tonight.

Do y’all have a favorite spice you like to use? Anything inspiring today? Thanks for reading today’s long post ;) You made it across the finish line!

 

 
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